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Meatballs with Rigatoni

  • Servings: 4
Meatballs with Rigatoni

Photography: Dana Gallagher

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2000


  • 2 slices good-quality white bread, crusts removed, cut in small pieces
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 small garlic cloves, minced
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 8 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 pound rigatoni
  • Red-Hot Tomato Sauce
  • Parmesan cheese, for grating


  1. Place bread in a bowl; pour milk over it. In another bowl, mix veal and pork. Add onion, garlic, zest, and parsley. Add salt and pepper. Mash bread mixture to form paste; add to meat mixture. Mix; add egg. Combine well. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 1 hour.

  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Form mixture into twelve to sixteen 1 1/2-inch balls. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute half the meatballs until brown, a few minutes on each side. Transfer to a pan big enough to hold all the meatballs. Repeat with remaining oil and meatballs. Place in oven to finish cooking, about 20 minutes.

  3. Cook rigatoni according to package directions. Toss meatballs in tomato sauce; serve with grated Parmesan over rigatoni.

Reviews (4)

  • pupfoster1 31 Jan, 2014

    Oh my gosh, these are THE BEST meatballs ever! I do use the meatloaf mix instead of just beef and pork (veal added), and I ALWAYS make at least a triple if not quadruple batch. If there are any leftovers they freeze beautifully. The lemon zest gives such a fresh taste to the meatballs. I serve it with Martha's Red-Hot Tomato Sauce as I got the original recipes when they were printed as cards next to each other in Martha's magazine several years ago. This my GO TO recipe! Always a hit!

  • pupfoster1 31 Jan, 2014

    Edit previous post, the meatloaf mix adds beef instead of just pork and veal.

  • janicegrabanski 21 Oct, 2008

    I like to prapare these meatballs ahead of time and freeze. They are delicious and I like the lemon flavor especially if I cook a garlic linguine. Mxing these meatballs with various other Italian sauces works very well.

  • summertae 24 Sep, 2008

    basic meatball

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