Italian Meat & Fish Recipes Italian Pasta Recipes

SPAGHETTI & POLPETTINE (A Real Italian Meatballs Pasta Dish)

The recipe for spaghetti with meatballs, however, is typical of different Italian regions that have their own traditions and their way of making it handed down from generation to generation.

Because spaghetti with meatballs is a family dish, one of those things that grandma used to prepare, a dish to recycle leftovers that does not disfigure the main course at all.

Therefore not all recipes of spaghetti with meatballs are created equal. Let’s see what they are region by region:

in Campania it’s called pasta imbottita: short pasta, fried meatballs, smoked provola cheese and meat sauce.

All in the oven, crispy and tasty.

the seated pasta in Apulia: ziti, meat sauce, fried meatballs blanched in meat sauce and Parmesan cheese. Before serving it is cooked 5 minutes in a bain-marie.

pasta with meatballs Calabrian style: pecorino silano cheese, veal, eggs, parsley, soaked bread for medium-sized meatballs that cook directly in the sauce to be used as a condiment for fresh pasta.

Spaghetti alla chitarra with meatballs in Abruzzo, the recipe that inspires our dish today.



Spaghetti and polpettine Abruzzo-Style




  • 1 onion (red)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 14 oz of tomato purèe
  • 14 oz of ground veal meat
  • 7 oz of stale bread
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 14 oz of spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup of Pecorino Romano Cheese




Finely chop the onion.

Take a frying pan and heat some extra virgin olive oil.

Put the onion in the pan, let it brown and then add the tomato purée.

Let the tomato purée cook for 30 minutes on low heat.

In a bowl, place the ground veal meat.

Add the stale breadcrumbs soaked in milk and squeezed, then add nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Shape into olive-sized patties.

Put a frying pan on the fire and add extra virgin olive oil.

Cook the patties for about 5 minutes, taking care to flip them.

Place half of the cooked meatballs in the sauce and boil the spaghetti  in plenty of salted water.

Drain the pasta directly into the sauce with the meatballs.

Serve the pasta with the sauce, add the meatballs you set aside and finish with grated pecorino cheese.




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