Spaghetti meatballs is a much-loved dish all over the world but too often I see giant meatballs topped on plates of spaghetti and this is not the way it was meant to be enjoyed!

This Italian dish can be done in an authentic way and my Nonna makes it best! So tune in to this recipe to recreate the most delicious spaghetti and (mini) meatballs and be transported to Nonna’s house with every, single, bite.

DISCLAIMER: My meatballs may look tiny but you’ll soon realise they are mighty – especially when enjoyed in the same mouthful as your spaghetti!

Watch the Spaghetti Meatballs Video Recipe:


spaghetti meatballs recipe

300g/10.5oz spaghetti quadrato (chitarra)
200g/7oz veal mince
2 (heaped) tablespoons Pecorino Romano
1 carrot (diced)
1 celery stick (diced)
½ onion (diced)
Fresh Basil
Fresh Parsley
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 x bottle homemade Passata
1 egg
Rock salt
Salt & Pepper

2 x medium pots
1 x small pot
Large pot for pasta
Wooden spoon
Slotted spoon
Chopping board
Mixing bowl
Flat plate or biscuit tray
Baking paper
Large serving bowl



  1. Spaghetti meatballs requires delicious slow cooked sauce – so start by making it first!
  2. Put a medium pot on your stove and add 4 tblsp extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Leave to warm up then add the carrot, celery and onion – this is the soffritto for your spaghetti meatballs sauce (you can also blend this if you don’t want to see these vegetables in your sauce.
  4. Mix these in your pot using a wooden spoon, letting them cook through and start to soften.
  5. Once the vegetables are nice and tender, add the tomato passata and mix through.
  6. Now add ½ tablespoon of rock salt and some pepper then mix to combine.
  7. Turn the heat down to low and cook this gently for up to 1 hour with the lid on.
  8. Go back to the sauce and stir it using your wooden spoon every so often.


  1. Place the veal mince in a bowl and add a sprinkle of salt along with some pepper.
  2. Next, add two tblsp pecorino romano, chopped parsley and 1 egg.
  3. Combine well using a fork and then your hands, making sure the mixture is nice and wet and there are no large chunks remaining.
  4. Once you are happy with the texture of your meatball mixture, you are ready to make the mini meatballs!
  5. Add a small amount of EVOO to a plate or bowl and use this to keep your hands moist.
  6. Line a flat plate or baking tray with baking paper then moisten your hands with a small amount of EVOO.
  7. Pick up a small amount of the mixture, and roll it into a 1cm ball, using the palms of your hands, then place it onto your plate/tray.
  8. Repeat until you have used up all of your mince mixture – time consuming but it will make all the difference!

VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: Spend the time you need to creating these tiny balls! When you scoop them up with your strands of pasta smothered in sauce it will be all worth it as you taste every flavour on the plate in the same bite!


  1. Once the sauce has been cooking for an hour, remove the lid and stir it one last time.
  2. Finally, add the fresh basil leaves to the sauce – you can just gently tear them using your hands, don’t cut them – and stir through.
  3. Turn the stove off and scoop 3 portions of sauce (use a serving spoon) into a small pot. Leave this to the side.
  4. Fill a medium pot with water and put on the stove to boil. Once ready, add a tablespoon of rock salt and stir to dissolve.
  5. Add the mini meatballs to the boiling water – be gentle – and leave to cook for no more than 1-1 ½ minutes.
  6. Scoop them out of the water (they should start to rise to the top) using your slotted spoon and add them to the small pot of sauce you left to the side earlier.

VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: Do not add these to the pot which is full of hot sauce as they will soften and break.

  1. Gently mix the meatballs with the sauce using a spoon and keep them on a really low heat on your stove.
  2. Boil water in a large pot and once ready, add a tblsp rock salt and let dissolve.
  3. Next add the pasta and allow it to cook according to packet instructions – best of left al dente!
  4. Once the pasta is almost ready, scoop up a mug full of pasta water and leave it to the side.
  5. Strain the pasta once ready and add it to the large pot of sauce.
  6. Mix this before adding a small amount of pasta water and mixing once more.
  7. Plate up the pasta into a large serving bowl

spaghetti meatballs vincenzo

Plate up a generous serve of pasta into a large serving bowl then sprinkle some pecorino on top before adding 2 tblsp of meatballs then another serve of pasta, pecorino and meatballs on top. Repeat 2-3 times depending on how many people you are feeding then serve up your spaghetti and meatballs from this bowl for each guest.

Of course add some extra meatballs and sauce to the top of the dish too if there’s any left. Nonna will be so proud you are enjoying spaghetti and meatballs the only way you should – her way!

spaghetti meatballs

homemade spaghetti meatballs

E ora si mangia Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!

vincenzo's plate

This is the recipe for my famous ITALIAN MEATBALLS

italian meatballs recipe

Are you enjoy my Fake Italian Food Series? These are 2 great Fake Italian Recipes made like an Italian:

meat lovers pizza

chicken pasta italian


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