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Sunday Dinner: Maroni's Spaghetti and Meatballs

Sunday Dinner: Maroni's Spaghetti and Meatballs

The other night I caught an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay. In it Bobby was challenging a Mike Maroni in a meatball battle. While Bobby's version of meatballs looked quite tasty, Mr. Maroni's made me drool. His recipe is 100 years old and was handed to him by his grandmother. I think these hefty meatballs and delicious sauce will make the perfect Sunday Dinner. To get the recipe,

Mike Maroni's Spaghetti and Meatballs
Serve the meatballs and sauce with a hefty serving of pasta. Mike's secret trick was to put sauce on the noodles, lift the noodles to allow the sauce to sink to the bottom and then top with meatballs and more sauce.

Note: When meatballs are done, add them to the Maroni sauce and simmer for 30 minutes before serving.

Grandma Maronis Meatballs 100 Year Old Recipe
From Mike Maroni on Throwdown with Bobby Flay

1 pound ground chuck
4 ounces dried bread crumbs
4 large eggs
4 ounces whole milk
6 ounces grated Romano
3 ounces grated Spanish onion
2 ounces finely diced fresh garlic
2 ounces finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 ounces finely chopped fresh basil leaves

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.
  2. Mix all ingredients thoroughly in large bowl. If mixture seems a little loose add more bread crumbs.
  3. Roll meatballs loosely about the size of a golf ball and place on baking sheet. Place into preheated oven for approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Enjoy!

Maroni Sauce
From Mike Maroni on Throwdown with Bobby Flay

6 ounces good olive oil, not extra-virgin
12 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 large or 2 medium Spanish onions, finely diced
2 (28-ounce) cans imported crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper
1 large handful julienned fresh basil leaves

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add oil.
  2. Once heated add the finely sliced garlic and onions to the pan.
  3. Cook over medium heat until soft and slightly brown.
  4. Next add the canned crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper and stir. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the julienned basil.
Join The Conversation
gNapoleone gNapoleone 9 years
Well,well, well - it seems that many of you don't think meatballs and pasta are traditional Italian fare. Polpette (or polpettini) are meatballs, and they're traditional. Since maybe about 100% of Italian immigrants came from southern Italy (like my grandfather) starving to death, the "meatball" is a traditional way of preparing poor, tough beef (or maybe meat of any kind - goat, pig, whatever) - it needed to be ground or chopped to make it edible. These recipes pictured here look very authentic (i.e. "normal") Italian immigrant concoctions. Meat was always a small part of the dish, as it is with most peasant dishes (in any culture) to add some protein. When immigrants came here (again, starving to death) they ate more meat, the polpettine become polpettone, and thus the photo of the meatballs outweighing the pasta was an Italian-American modification. So get over your little cat fights. Nobody is more authentic than anybody else. Hang in there, Giorgia, and hang onto your culture and tradition. gNapoleone P.S. The picture, obviously "staged" by a food photographer should not be taken as indicative of how Italians, or Italian-Americans, or anyone who cares about real cooking would actually present such a time-honored dish.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
mine too!
mamaseacat mamaseacat 9 years
Spaghetti and meatballs is MY comfort food. I've gotta try these meatballs.
giorgia1 giorgia1 9 years
@onesong - I might be a "pains from hell", but you're arrogant and uncivil, and apparently proud to be as such. Please go and say "hush up" to your peers, I'm taking no "hush ups" from you, I've got the same right to express my opinion in here as you have.
onesong onesong 9 years
if it tastes good, who cares if it breaks with tradition. it's an innovation--no one needs to like it, but i mean good gracious, giorgia, pains from hell? i mean, for goodness' sake, giorgia, pasta came from the chinese. you all wouldn't HAVE half the food you eat if it weren't for innovation, so everyone off the high horse. that said, my boyfriend's grandmother is from an obscure town in sicily, and she prefers a lot of sauce on her pasta. her husband prefers it the traditional way (he's from the same village). i find it very hard to believe that personal preference can make or break a dishes national origins. she also like pineapple on her pizza. so go ahead and make the argument that it goes against the traditional preparation all you want, and that it's not to your taste, but hush up otherwise--it most certainly is still italian (unless, of course, you'd prefer to call it chinese food). gracious sakes.
giorgia1 giorgia1 9 years
@mireya and @mbrown81 (and everybody else): I'm not *obsessed* with how Italians prepare spaghetti, the point is that I *am* Italian - and by "Italian" I don't mean "my great-great-grandfather was born in an obscure sicilian village but actually I'm from Minnesota and can't even spell spaghetti correctly", I really mean Italian, as I was born and raised in Italy and live there (I mean, here. Ah, well, whatevs.). And I can grant you nobody over here would eat spaghetti with meatballs, especially if they're drowning in sauce. If you like it that way, well, fair enough, enjoy it, all I am saying is that isn't an Italian meal even if it has pasta in it and despite this Mike Maroni guy claiming it to be his Grandma's 100 year old recipe... Maybe to you this means "obsessing" over this matter, but the truth is over here we care about food preparation to the extent we suffer pains from hell when, for example, we see people eating pizza topped with pineapple. To us that's just unnatural and wrong.
7bits 7bits 9 years
dayam! that's good - i'd probably get knocked out having eaten that and get some good food coma =p
hoya21221 hoya21221 9 years
I think that it looks delicious! Who cares if it isn't particularly Italian? I don't think there is anything better after a long hard day than a plate of spaghetti and meatballs!
DeviousMuse DeviousMuse 9 years
Yeah, this looks pretty fabulous - just like what my Dutch grandmother used to make... she didn't call it Italian food, just good ol' home cooking. And I have to admit, I love tons of sauce with my pasta - it makes for good dipping for the garlic bread. (And it allows some of it to soak into the pasta for the best next-day leftovers!)
mbrown81 mbrown81 9 years
Why so obsessed with how the italians did it. That dish looks so good. My son loves spagettie and meatballs, I can't wait to make it for my family.
MsMO MsMO 9 years
It looks good to me. It's American Spaghetti just like mom made :) Nothin' wrong with stuff mom made ya know, or grandma. I'd like to see some down home cookin' featured.
fragiletearz fragiletearz 9 years
This looks so good!
gvsb gvsb 9 years
i make pasta and meatballs every sunday... i leave out all that breadcrumbs/egg filler. just take a lb of ground beef, chop up an onion, add salt, pepper, oregano & garlic salt. make the meatballs, fry them up in some olive oil. add them to the gravy and you are good to go :)
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
I completely agree with you mireya! Italians do it one way, Americans do it another. As long as it tastes good, I don't care which style it is prepared. I love spaghetti and meatballs too much be a snob about it!
Diana172 Diana172 9 years
Yay, meatballs!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I had this for dinner tonight w/my family with warm Italian bread, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
mireya mireya 9 years
Calm down everyone! Loving food doesn't mean being snobby about it. I love food, live to eat, foodie all the way, but that doesn't mean I don't this dish because it isn't "how the Italians do it." If it's good it's good, no need to be a snob.
emalove emalove 9 years
I LOVE spaghetti and meatballs...I could never get sick of it. My dad makes excellent homemade pasta and sauce, we do actually have this for Sunday dinner every once in awhile. With some nice Italian bread and a glass of wine, it's always delicious!!
pinkflats pinkflats 9 years
"Italians don't eat pasta with meatballs on top, nor pasta swimming in uber-liquid tomato sauce like that. Spaghetti (or other type of pasta) must be well drained, sauce mustn't be too liquid - told ya, that thing in the picture looks just wrong to me." OMG that's how we make our spagetti, and we're not even italians. cool. i guess i'll fit in right whenever i i travel to italy.
saxprincesslea saxprincesslea 9 years
Thats looks delicious. I think I might have to make that tonight! :)
designergirl designergirl 9 years
I never can eat spaghetti and meatballs and still feel like a "foodie." Because they are "wrong," like Giorgia said, I always feel bad or uncultured. I think I'm overthinking this, however. Everyone knows spaghetti and meatballs isn't remotely Italian, it's Italian-American; if it tastes good, eat it! There is an uncalled for amount of sauce in the photo, though.
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