Growing up I used to always see SpaghettiO’s commercials.  I used to beg my mom to get them for me but she never would.  So, in college I had to try them myself and they were gross.  That’s why I had to come up with my own recipe, because the processed store bought one was nice in theory but tasted horrible.  And let me tell you, you guys are going to love this. 

This recipe is easy.  The meatballs cook up in minutes (you can leave them out of the dish if you want). And your kids will love it!!  Trust me…make this recipe.  It also is great left over.  I give it to my kids in a thermos for school lunches!!  

Spaghettio’s with Mini Meatballs

(Serves 7)

For the Meatballs

½ lb. Ground Pork

¼ lb. Ground Beef

¼ Cup Bread Crumbs

¼ Cup, Plus 2 Tbsp. Pecorino Romano 

1 Egg- Beaten

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Pepper

¾ tsp. Garlic Powder

3 tbsp. Chopped Fresh Parsley

3 tbsp. Olive Oil


4 Garlic Cloves – Sliced Thinly

⅛ tsp. Red Pepper Flakes

1 28 oz. Can of Whole Tomatoes – Pureed

2 tbsp. Tomato Paste

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Pepper

10 Fresh Basil Leaves- Chopped

1 Cup Pecorino Romano

1 lb. Pasta – I use Anellini

In a bowl, combine the pork and beef with the bread crumbs, Pecorino, beaten egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder and chopped fresh parsley. Form into mini meatballs (about 1 tsp. each). In a medium size frying pan (I use an 11 inch pan) heat the olive oil on a low to medium flame.  Add in the meatballs.  Cook in batches and keep rotating to brown on all sides.  

Start boiling your salted pasta water. Remove the meatballs from the pan as they get cooked and put on a plate lined with paper towels.  Once the meatballs are cooked add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan (on low heat still) and saute for a few minutes until the garlic begins to cook through.  Be sure not to burn it.  Add in the pureed tomatoes and tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper and add in fresh basil.  Cook for about 10 minutes and add back the meatballs.  Cook for another 10 minutes and boil your pasta.  Reserve some pasta water and drain the pasta.  Add the pasta to the sauce.  Combine well and add in the pasta water a little at a time to thin out the sauce. You will only need about 3 tsbp. Or so.  You don’t want the sauce to get watery. Next add in the grated (1 Cup) of Pecorino, combine and serve.

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