Spaghetti and Meatballs


I’ve been fortunate to travel and cook all over the world for presidents, aristocrats and celebrities. Many of my readers know I’m a French classical chef – a traditionalist – so learning about my favorite comfort food may come as a surprise for many of you. Are you ready? It’s spaghetti and meatballs! The secret is making it traditional style. When it’s prepared this way, there is no other dish that compares.

For the sauce, you will need:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/3 cup prosciutto, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • Pinch of red pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 pinch of black pepper
  • Pinch of dried basil
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 (14.5-oz.) cans of Italian plum whole tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup dry red wine


Combine olive oil, garlic and prosciutto in a large pot. Cook for five minutes on medium heat. Add onion, red pepper, salt, pepper, basil, oregano and bay leaves. It’s important to puree the tomatoes in a blender (only on the pulse speed). Add red wine. Bring to a boil. Cover partially and reduce heat. Simmer 1 1/2 hours. Discard the bay leaves.

For the meatballs, you will need:

  • 1/3 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/3 pound lean ground veal
  • 1/3 pound Italian sausage meat
  • 3/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh white bread crumbs
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Combine all meatball ingredients in a large stainless steel bowl. Mix well. Form into round balls. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a sheet pan, place the raw meatballs onto pan. Place pan in oven and bake, turning the meatballs every 10 minutes for approximately 30 minutes. Add cooked meatballs to tomato sauce. Slightly cover and simmer for another hour.

Cook the spaghetti pasta al dente until it’s firm to the bite. Drain. Add two cups of tomato sauce without meatballs. Toss well to coat and place onto platter. Add remaining sauce with meatballs. Top with grated Pecorino Romano and chopped parsley.