Spaghetti with meatballs

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Spaghetti with meatballs
Spaghetti and meatballs 1.jpg
Spaghetti with meatballs
CourseMain course
Place of originUnited States
Region or stateNew York City
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsSpaghetti, tomato sauce, meatballs
Close-up view of spaghetti with meatballs

Spaghetti with meatballs (or spaghetti and meatballs) is an Italian-American dish consisting of spaghetti, tomato sauce and meatballs.[1]


It is widely believed that spaghetti with meatballs was an innovation of early 20th-century Italian immigrants in New York City. The National Pasta Association (originally named the National Macaroni Manufacturers Association) is said to be the first organization to publish a recipe for it, in the 1920s.[2]

Italian writers and chefs often mock the dish as pseudo-Italian or non-Italian[3] because, in Italy, meatballs are smaller and only served with egg-based baked pasta.[4]

However, various kinds of pasta with meat are part of the culinary tradition of the Abruzzo, Apulia, Sicily, and other parts of southern Italy. A recipe for rigatoni with meatballs is in Il cucchiaio d'argento (The Silver Spoon), a comprehensive Italian cookbook known as the "bible" of Italian cooking. Other dishes that have similarities to spaghetti and meatballs include pasta seduta 'seated pasta' and maccaroni azzese in Apulia.[5][6][7]

Some baked pasta dishes from Apulia combine pasta and meat where meatballs, mortadella, or salami are baked with rigatoni, tomato sauce, and mozzarella, then covered with a pastry top.[8]

Other pasta recipes include slices of meat rolled up with cheese, cured meats and herbs (involtini in Italian) and braciole (bra'zhul) in Italian-American and Italian-Australian slang, that are cooked within sauce but pulled out to be served as a second course.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dickie, John (2008). Delizia!: The Epic History of the Italians and Their Food. Simon and Schuster. pp. 225–226. ISBN 1416554009. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  2. ^ America’s Favorite Recipes: The Melting Pot Cuisine, Part 2. 2009. p. 157.
  3. ^ Filippo Piva, "Gli spaghetti con le polpette e gli altri falsi miti della cucina italiana all’estero", Wired Italy, 29 July 2014 full text
  4. ^ "Pasta". The Atlantic. July 1986.
  5. ^ Oretta Zanini de Vita (2009). Encyclopedia of Pasta. p. 315. ISBN 0520944712.
  6. ^ "Maccaroni Azzese". Accademia Italiana della Cucina.
  7. ^ "Ricetta Spaghetti con le polpettine - Le ricette di Paciulina". Le Ricette di 4 September 2012. Archived from the original on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Pasta asciutta alla pugliese", in Touring Club of Italy, La cucina del Bel Paese, p. 292

Further reading[edit]

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