Spaghetti and Meatballs Honoring Columbus Day

Wolfgang Puck's favorite spaghetti and meatballs with basil

Happy Columbus Day!  In honor of brilliant Italian heritage, passion for and mastery of delicious food. What else could we bring you but spaghetti and meatballs from Wolfgang Puck, one of the most notable chefs alive today whose Italian influences are prominent throughout his recipes.


Serves 8


  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil* (See OO&B recommendations)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) organic beef broth or chicken broth
  • 2 cans, 28 ounces (794 g) each, diced tomatoes in their juice
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) dry red wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 1-1/2 pounds (750 g) lean ground round of beef
  • 1/2 pound (250 g) lean ground pork
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large cage-free eggs
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) fresh breadcrumbs, soaked briefly in 1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil * (See OO&B recommendations)


  • 1-1/2 pounds (750 g) dried spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) finely shredded fresh basil leaves
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

First, make the tomato sauce. Heat a large, heavy casserole over medium heat. Add the oil and, as soon as it is hot enough to swirl easily, add the onion and saute, stirring frequently, until translucent but not yet golden, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and saute about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and saute, stirring continuously, until it darkens in color slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and stir until the tomato paste dissolves. Stir in the tomatoes, wine, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the meatballs. In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, pork, garlic, eggs, soaked breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley, vinegar, salt and black pepper to taste. Stir until thoroughly combined. Moistening your hands with cold water, shape into uniform meatballs about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, placing them on a platter or tray covered with parchment or waxed paper.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot enough to swirl, place the meatballs in the pan and saute until uniformly browned, about 10 minutes, occasionally turning them gently with a wooden spoon. With a slotted spoon, transfer the browned meatballs to paper towels to drain. Set aside.

When the sauce has simmered for 30 minutes, remove and discard the bay leaf. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt, if necessary. With the slotted spoon, put the browned meatballs into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring gently from time to time, until the sauce is thick and the meatballs are cooked through, about 1 hour.

For the pasta, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the salt. Cook the spaghetti until al dente, tender but still slightly chewy, following the manufacturer’s suggested cooking time.

Drain the spaghetti and return it, still slightly dripping, to its pot. Spoon in some of the tomato sauce and toss to coat the pasta well. Then, using a pasta server or tongs, transfer the spaghetti to a large serving bowl or individual pasta bowls or plates. Spoon the sauce and meatballs on top and garnish with fresh basil. Serve immediately, passing Parmesan cheese to add to taste.


*RECOMMENDED OO&B substitutions/specifics

Biancolilla Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
Our award-winning extra virgin olive oil is made from Biancolilla olives, also known as Biancuzza, a varietal that grows in the area of central-eastern Sicily. Our Biancolilla extra virgin has been produced on one of the most prestigious estates in Italy and carries the prestigious D.O.P. designation.

Coratina Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

Our organic Italian Coratina is a small-production extra virgin olive oil from a producer in Puglia, the region making up the “heel” of Italy’s “boot.” Made from 100% Coratina olives, hand-harvested and rigorously cold-pressed within a few short hours of being plucked from the trees, this olive oil has a classic Pugliese taste coupled with low acidity.

Mediterraneo Spiced Sea Salt – perfectly blended with the favorite herbs of the Mediterranean.

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Categories: Info Articles, Main Course, Olive Oil, pasta, Previous Publications, Sauce/Marinade


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