Grandma Maroni's Meatballs and Sauce

Try chef Mike Maroni's family recipes when you're craving classic Italian fare.

  • Yield: Makes 14 meatballs
Grandma Maroni's Meatballs and Sauce

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, April 2010


  • Olive oil or nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 small onion, grated
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Maroni's Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, julienned
  • Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together beef, cheese, 1 cup breadcrumbs, eggs, milk, herbs, onion, and garlic; season with salt. If mixture seems too loose, mix in remaining 1/2 cup breadcrumbs as necessary.

  3. Roll meat mixture into 2 1/2-ounce balls; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake until beef is cooked through and lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt water and return to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook until al dente, according to package directions; Drain.

  5. Heat sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Transfer meatballs to sauce and cook for at least 15 minutes. Transfer meat balls and 1 cup of sauce to a bowl and set aside. Remove remaining sauce from heat. Stir in basil and add drained spaghetti; toss to combine. Transfer spaghetti to a large serving platter; top with meatballs and reserved sauce. Serve immediately, sprinkled with cheese.


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