Spaghetti and Meatballs All'amatriciana

Serves 8


  • MEATBALLS: Place bacon in the food processor. Using on/off turns, grind to coarse paste. Transfer to a large bowl. Using a garlic press, squeeze in garlic. Gently mix in beef and all remaining ingredients. Let stand for 15 minutes.
  • Step 2: Line a large rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. Using moistened hands and scant 2 tablespoonfuls for each, roll meat mixture into 1 ½ -inch meatballs. Arrange meatballs on a sheet.
  • SAUCE: Puree tomatoes with juice and garlic in batches in a blender until smooth.
  • Cook bacon in a large pot over medium heat until crisp; transfer bacon to plate.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of oil to drippings in the pot and heat over medium heat. Add half of the meatballs. Cook until brown on all sides, turning carefully with a small metal spatula, about 9 minutes. Transfer meatballs to a baking sheet. Add more oil to the pot if needed and repeat with remaining meatballs.
  • Increase heat to medium-high. Add onions and crushed red pepper to the pot. Sauté until golden, about 6 minutes. Add wine; boil until reduced by half, stirring up browned bits, about 8 minutes. Add tomato puree and marjoram. Boil until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Mix bacon into sauce. Add meatballs; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until meatballs are heated through and tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.
  • PASTA: Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain; transfer to a large bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons of oil and marjoram, adding more oil to moisten, if desired. Divide spaghetti among bowls. Top with meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle it with cheese and serve. Have more cheese at the table for serving.

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