Spicy Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spicy Spaghetti and Meatballs
Servings: 8 Prep 30 mins Cook 1 hr


Spicy Meatballs:
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced onion (about 1 medium-size)
  • 1 cup sliced fennel bulb (about half of mediium), cored (reserve other half for sauce, below)
  • 1 package (8 ounces) sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (2 large cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup packaged unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
Sauce and Spaghetti:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fennel bulb (from remaining half of bulb, above)
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) plum tomatoes in thick puree
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) peeled diced tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Make It


1. In large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and fennel; saute 7 minutes, until tender. Add mushrooms and garlic; saute 6 minutes. Add paprika, oregano, sage, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; saute 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

2. In bowl, combine 1/2 cup bread crumbs and milk; soak until softened.

3. Transfer mushroom mixture to food processor. Process until coarsely chopped. Add to soaked crumbs in bowl, along with chicken, veal, eggs, the 1/3 cup crumbs and the remaining salt and pepper; mix to combine. With wet hands, form into meatballs, using about 1/4 cup per meatball (you should have about 21 large meatballs).

4. In large skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, add meatballs; saute until browned, 6 to 7 minutes per batch. Remove the meatballs with slotted spoon to a large platter.

Sauce and Spaghetti:

5. In large, deep, heavy saucepot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and fennel; saute 7 minutes or until softened. Add plum tomatoes, diced tomatoes, garlic, red wine, sugar, salt, oregano, sage and pepper, breaking up tomatoes with wooden spoon. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-high heat 10 minutes (you should have about 9 cups sauce).

6. Carefully add meatballs to sauce, trying to submerge them, if possible. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until instant-read meat thermometer inserted into center of meatballs registers 160 degrees F.

7. Meanwhile, cook perciatelli following package directions. Drain pasta; transfer to large serving dish. Top with meatballs and sauce. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe: 8; Amount Per Serving: cal. (kcal): 665, Fat, total (g): 24, chol. (mg): 169, sat. fat (g): 6, carb. (g): 74, fiber (g): 9, pro. (g): 37, sodium (mg): 1692, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.