Download the TODAY app for the latest news

Grandma Maroni's Spaghetti and Meatballs
Mike Maroni's recipe for classic spaghetti and meatballs
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
print recipe
(49 rated)

There's nothing like old-fashioned hearty spaghetti and meatballs, especially when the dish is so delicious that it beat star chef Bobby Flay's version in a cooking competition. Lucky for TODAY Food, Mike Maroni, owner and chef of Maroni Hot Pots in New York City and Long Island, NY, is a magnanimous winner and shares his family's amazing 100-year-old recipe.

Tip: Maroni's trick for making uniform meatballs is to scoop a golf ball-sized amount of the meat mixture using a 2-ounce ice cream scoop and then roll them with his hands.


  • Meatballs

    • 1/2 pound ground chuck
    • 1/2 pound ground pork
    • 4 ounces dried bread crumbs
    • 2 extra large eggs
    • 2 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
  • Tomato Sauce

    • 4 ounces olive oil
    • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
    • 3 ounces onions, finely chopped
    • 2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
    • 10 basil leaves, thinly sliced
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 dash sugar (optional)
  • Spaghetti

    • 1 pound spaghetti
    • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


For the Meatballs:

Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. If the mixture seems a little loose, add more bread crumbs.

Loosely roll each meatball into about the size of a golf ball and place on the baking sheet. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes.

For the Tomato Sauce:

In a large pot, add the olive oil and garlic and cooker over medium-high heat until the garlic lightly browns.

Add the onions and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. You can also add the optional sugar at this time if you like a sweeter sauce. Simmer for 15 to 25 minutes.

For the Spaghetti:

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti for 3 minutes less than what is directed on its package.

Once the spaghetti, tomato sauce and meatballs are plated, top each dish with the Parmesan cheese before serving.

Related video

Closed Captioning
apply | reset x

Make spaghetti and meatballs the Maroni Hot Pots way

Play Video - 4:58