Spaghetti & Meat Balls


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

New York Christmas

New York Christmas

By Lisa Nieschlag and Lars Wentrup

Published 2017

  • About


For the meat balls

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) mixed minced meat
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 g ( oz) breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Zest of ½ orange (organic)
  • 1–2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
  • Salt, pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the tomato sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 800 g (1 lb 12 oz/ cups) diced tomatoes (from a can)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • Salt, pepper

For the spaghetti

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) spaghetti
  • Salt
  • ½ bunch basil
  • A block of parmesan to taste


To prepare the meat balls, place the minced meat in a mixing bowl. Peel the garlic and shallots. Mince the garlic and finely dice the shallots. Add both to the mince together with the eggs, breadcrumbs, chilli flakes, cinnamon, orange zest and parmesan. Generously season the mixture with salt and pepper and knead well to combine. Use moistened hands to shape the mixture into small balls, then set the balls aside on a large, flat plate and refrigerate.

For the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a wide saucepan. Peel the garlic and onion. Mince the garlic and finely dice the onion. Add both to the pan and sweat for a few minutes until translucent. Deglaze with red wine vinegar and simmer briefly to reduce. Add the bay leaf and the canned tomatoes together with their juice and simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and season the sauce with oregano, thyme, sugar, salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Fry the meat balls until browned on all sides. Transfer the fried meat balls to the simmering tomato sauce. Cover the pot with a lid and continue to cook for about 10 minutes. Season the sauce again with salt and pepper.

Cook the spaghetti al dente in a large pot of salted water. Drain and divide among plates or bowls. Top with a few meat balls and some tomato sauce each. Serve the spaghetti with picked-off basil leaves and freshly shaved parmesan.