Last Updated on May 19, 2022
Spaghetti and Meatballs don’t have to take hours and hours. These are Mrs. Frank Sinatra’s meatballs with the sauce from Joe Dog’s Mafia Cookbook. Served with some crunchy Italian bread to sop up the sauce, you can’t get more Italian than this.
I’m in a few Facebook cooking groups and one of them had a post about Mrs. Sinatra’s meatballs and sauce. There was a picture from the WFBL Cookbook of the Stars, 1945 Edition, with a photo of a young Frank Sinatra. Considering the article did not mention which Mrs. Sinatra, we will never know for sure it was his wife, Nancy’s, or his mother Natalie’s recipe. In those days, women were not referred to by their first name, they were referred to as Mrs. and the husband’s name. Frank married Nancy in 1939 and stayed married to her until 1951. Considering the book was written in 1945, I’m going to call it Nancy Sinatra’s.
Ground Meat for the Meatballs
The original recipe calls for ground pork and ground beef. Ground pork has a lot of fat and so does ground beef. However, if you get a few lean boneless loin chops, you can trim any excess fat and grind it yourself. The same is true for the beef – just get a piece of lean beef and grind it. I used chuck steak and trimmed nearly all the fat off. I wanted to do this because of the cheese that’s included in the recipe.
The Spaghetti Sauce
The sauce I chose is from Joseph “Joe Dogs” Iannuzzi’s Mafia Cookbook. I’ve used it a bunch of times, and it’s my favorite. Who’s not to say, with Frank Sinatra’s alleged Mafia ties that he didn’t know Joe Dog’s. Whether he knew Joe or not, this is an excellent sauce that’s easy to make with lots of flavor. It’s also quick to make – maybe because no one knew when the Feds were going to knock on the door, so dinner had to be ready just in case. This is an excellent sauce to use for Spaghetti and Meatballs or any dish that calls for red sauce.
If you have leftover sauce, you could make this lovely Lasagna with Béchamel and Sausage
Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe
- ½ pound Chuck steak
- ½ pound Pork loin
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- ½ cup Parmesan, grated
- ½ teaspoon Roasted garic powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp. finely chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Pepper, freshly grated
~~ — Joe Dog’s Sauce — ~~
~~ — Pasta — ~~
- 1 pound Spaghetti
- 1/2 pound Chuck steak, 1/2 pound Pork loinCut the pork into pieces that will fit down the tube of the grinder, about 1 1/2 inches. Cut the beef into similar sizes. Put the meat on a flexible cutting board and leave in the freezer for about half hour or until the meat is hard but not frozen.
- Feed the meat through the grinder using the small grinder plate.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F / 148°C.
- 2 cloves Garlic, 1/2 cup Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon Roasted garic powder, 2 eggs, 1 cup breadcrumbs, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp. finely chopped parsley, 1/2 teaspoon Salt, 1/2 teaspoon PepperPut the ground meat and remaining ingredients in a stand mix and stir until the mixture is thoroughly mixed.
- Use a 1/4 cup scoop to make the meatballs.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the balls reach 140°F / 60°C on an instant-read thermometer.
- Remove the balls from the oven.
- If you are not going to use them right away, let them cool slightly then refrigerate.
- If you are going to use them right away, let them rest and keep warm.
For the Sauce
- 2 cloves Garlic, 1/4 cup Olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder, 28 ounces Tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon Dry mustard, 1/4 teaspoon Black pepper, 2 tablespoon Basil, 1 teaspoon Chicken base, 1 cup WaterSaute garlic in olive oil until garlic dissolves. Add tomatoes, stir and simmer for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and allow to simmer over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes. You can use a stick blender to break up the tomatoes. If you are reheating the meatballs, put them in the sauce and cook for another 15 minutes, otherwise, just add them to the sauce.
For the Pasta
- 1 pound SpaghettiPut the pasta in a large pot filled with water. It's your choice to salt the water or not. You can use the water after it is cooled to water your plants. If you don't salt the water, add a little more salt to the sauce.
- Drain the pasta and put it in a large bowl. Add the meatballs and sauce and top with grated parmesan and shredded fresh basil leaves.