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Sausage-and-Pepper Meatballs

A spring-loaded scoop makes quick work of forming meatballs.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Sausage-and-Pepper Meatballs

Photography: Romulo Yanes

Source: Everyday Food, October 2012


  • Coarse salt
  • 3/4 pound spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, pureed, or 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3/4 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, 5 minutes. Remove 1/3 cup onion and transfer to a cutting board. Add bell pepper to remaining onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until bell pepper is softened, 8 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water to pot, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add tomatoes (if using crushed, add an additional 3/4 cup water) and red-pepper flakes and bring to a gentle simmer.

  3. In a large bowl, combine breadcrumbs, milk, and 1 teaspoon salt. Roughly chop reserved onion and add to bowl, along with pork and fennel seed. Stir until just combined (do not overmix). Drop meat mixture by heaping tablespoons into sauce. Gently shake pot to submerge meatballs as much as possible, cover, and simmer until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Divide pasta among four bowls, top with meatballs and sauce, and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Cook's Note

A sausage-and-pepper sub (a.k.a. a hoagie or hero) is one of the world's best sandwiches. This riff is terrific, too.

Reviews (1)

  • tkayfree 1 Dec, 2013

    YUM-TOWN! I have made this a few times because it is SO GOOD! Highly recommended. The sauce is spicy and the meatballs are tender and delicious. Loved it!

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