Spaghetti with meatballs

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For the style of computer programming, see Spaghetti with meatballs (programming). For others, see Spaghetti (disambiguation).
Spaghetti with meatballs
Spaghetti and meatballs 1.jpg
Spaghetti with meatballs
Course Main course
Place of origin United States with likely roots in Southern Italy
Region or state New York City, New York
Creator Italian Americans
Serving temperature Hot
Main ingredients Spaghetti, tomato sauce, meatballs
Cookbook: Spaghetti with meatballs  Media: Spaghetti with meatballs
Close-up view of spaghetti with meatballs

Spaghetti with meatballs (or spaghetti and meatballs) is an Italian-American dish that usually consists 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 often mock the dish as pseudo-Italian or non-Italian.[3] However, there is a recipe for rigatoni and meatballs in Il cucchiaio d'argento, a comprehensive Italian cookbook, and pasta served with meatballs and tomato sauce are documented in southern Italy earlier than the American version:[4]

"...though Spaghetti with meatballs are rare in Italy there are Italian precursors: I have had spaghetti with tiny meatballs in Puglia, [Sicilian food authority] Pino Correnti notes that meatballs were a common addition to feast day pasta sauces in Sicily..."[5]

Pasta of various kinds with meatballs are part of the culinary tradition of the Abruzzo, Apulia, Sicily, and other parts of southern Italy. Names for these dishes include pasta seduta 'seated pasta' and maccaroni azzese in Apulia.[6][7][8]

Totally different are the baked pasta dishes from Apulia, where meatballs, mortadella, or salami are baked with rigatoni, tomato sauce, and mozzarella, then covered with a pastry top.[9]

Other pasta recipes include slices of meat rolled up with cheese, cured meats and herbs (involtini in Italian), but most commonly pasta is garnished with the sauce and served separately from the meats cooked in the sauce itself.

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 2013. 
  2. ^ "YouTube". Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  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. ^ "Kyle Phillips: Biography". About. Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Info on origins of Spaghetti and meatballs on
  6. ^ Oretta Zanini de Vita, Encyclopedia of Pasta (2009, ISBN 0520944712), p. 315, with ziti
  7. ^ Accademia Italiana della Cucina, "Maccaroni Azzese"
  8. ^ "Ricetta Spaghetti con le polpettine - Le ricette di Paciulina". Le Ricette di 4 September 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  9. ^ "Pasta asciutta alla pugliese", in Touring Club of Italy, La cucina del Bel Paese, p. 292

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]