Spaghetti and Meatballs and other Italian classics

Going back to my early 90s training though of course i’ve refined things from that pizza shop days where I learned… spaghetti and meatballs are a classic. spaghetti to drop in tonight. kids coming over and it has got to be a hit!

questions welcome.


Love the cast iron sear!

How much, if any, of the fat that renders from the meatballs in the cast iron gets transferred into the sauce? I have been generally just dropping in the raw meatballs into the sauce to cook but results in a lot of fat bubbling to the top. I remove some of the fat but leave in some for flavoring.

I like the idea of the cast iron sear. I’ve tried meatballs in the oven but don’t like the way they come out.

Oven roasting works well with a 550 oven and a certain type pan. High wall, medium conducting. I like pan frying

The big improvement with this over simmering them in sauce is the Maillard reaction. Meat browning is delicious.

I didn’t transfer any fat at all, enough olive oil in the sauce


Talk to us please about what’s in the meatballs and the sauce. It looks really good.

just the classic recipe.

beef, lamb, pork equal parts , grana padano, parsley, soaked bread, eggs

onion, carrot, celery, garlic tomato cans and oregano. watch batali do it if you’d like to get it right on


I learned a huge amount from Batali and won’t stop just because he’s a sleazebag.

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I think I seen every episode of Molto Mario on the Food Network.

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We did also. It was a great show. And when we went to Babbo forever ago, his frequent ‘guest’ (was it John? can’t remember) was the maitre d. (Did I spell that right?) He encouraged slicing rather than ‘pressing’ garlic and I’ve done that ever since.

Looks wonderful!

Yeah, that’s the only way to fly. Heavy skillet. Baking them in the oven is a no-go.

I add a touch of marjoram and pecorino.

Yours look really good.

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Yes, pecorino normally… i was out… grana was a bit odd if i’m honest… also either wrong bread choice or too much of it but it made my balls very easy to fall apart

was a hit though

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I too just drop mine in the sauce raw. I like the texture better. They are softer.

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I’ve never heard of doing that. Doesn’t that make the sauce awfully fatty? And don’t the meatballs tend to fall apart?

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The meatballs are fine and don’t break apart but you are correct. It results in a lot of residual fat seeping into the sauce. I end up removing a lot of the fat bc sometimes I use 80/20. I’ve started to brown in cast iron pan which adds a step but results are great.

Yeah. I think that would add an element to the texture of the balls.

That’s what I do, of course. Fry them up in the skillet and then simmer in the sauce. Perfectly tender every time.

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Fat carries flavor. Restaurants will add extra fats. Live it up

My preferred method as well because I think it tastes better and has better texture. The extra fat isn’t such a big deal for me with the braised method so I can hang either way.

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