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Who doesn’t love spaghetti and meatballs. Show of hands? I see none. Maybe I didn’t see you. If you don’t like spaghetti and meatballs signify with an “Aye”. (Insert cricket chirp here.)

I have to agree. When asked my favorite food, I sometimes have a very difficult time in replying, but when pushed, it always comes down to the same two things; A great Cheeseburger, and Homemade Spaghetti & Meatballs.

Growing up, I would swing on my gymset for hours and sing all kinds of songs. Poor, poor animals that were forced to listen. I’m sure they thought there was a wounded creature or wild coyote in the midst. Bless their hearts.

One of my favorite songs was “On Top of Spaghetti”. Do you remember that one?

I am now going to virtually serenade you. Are you ready? Maestro, to the tune of “On Top Of Old Smokey” if you please.


On top of spaaaaghettiiiiiiiii,

All covered with cheeeeeseeee….

I lost my poor meatball

when somebody sneeeezed.

It rolled off the taaaaaable,

and onto the flooooor….

And then my poor meatball,

rolled right out the dooooor!

I’m sure you know the rest, but it ended tragically with the demise of that poor meatball under a bush. “…Well, it got smooshed”.

I know. I hear ya. I probably do in fact need professional help. Bless my heart.


Classic Southern Spaghetti & Meatballs with Pesto

  • 1 package prepared spaghetti noodles, I much prefer fresh or homemade

For the Meatballs:

  • 1/3 cup homemade Ricotta cheese, recipe here
  • 1 pound ground beef, turkey or chicken
  • 1/2 pound sausage; pork or chicken, casings removed
  • 1 tbsp. Fennel Seed
  • 3 eggs – 1 for mixture, 2 for dipping
  • 2 tbsp. Pesto
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups Panko
  • Salt & pepper to taste


In a large bowl, combine both meats, cheese, Fennel, Pesto, 1 egg, salt and pepper. Mix with hands until it’s well combined, but not overworked. The more you mix, the tougher your meatballs will be, so mix well, but cautiously.

Place remaining two eggs in bowl and whisk lightly. Place flour on one plate and Panko on another. Using a cookie dough scoop (or your hands), divide and roll mixture into meatballs. Roll each meatball in flour, dip in egg, coat well with Panko and place on a greased baking pan. Do this with each meatball. When finished, bake the meatballs at 325 for about 20 minutes or until no longer pink.

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For the Marinara Sauce:

  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 large can San Marzano crushed  tomatoes
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. Oregano
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp. finely grated dark chocolate
  • Salt & pepper to taste


Heat the Olive oil in a large skillet. Add vegetables and cook until transparent, about 7-10 minutes. Add garlic and wine and cook on high heat until the liquid reduces by half. Add tomatoes, and remaining ingredients. Stir well and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes.


Life is too short to eat ugly food y’all.