Little Pepina's Spaghetti Recipe | Pasta Recipes | PBS Food

Little Pepina’s Spaghetti

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Carl from Saint George, Utah submitted this recipe which was a winner in our Italian recipe contest judged by Mary Ann Esposito of Ciao Italia.


Prep time: 30 Minutes

Cook time: 2 Hours

Total time: 2 Hours, 30 Minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Theme: ,


  • Italian Spaghetti Sauce:
  • 1/2 lb stewing beef, cubed
  • 1/2 lb pork chunks
  • 2 2 1/2 cans tomatoes
  • 2 6 oz cans tomato paste
  • 2 tbls pure olive oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sweet basil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbls salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley
  • Meat Balls:
  • 3/4 Lb ground beef
  • 1/4 Lb ground port
  • 8 finely rolled saltine crackers
  • 4 heaping teaspoons grated Italian cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 sprigs minced parsley
  • 1 tbls salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 clove minced garlic
  • 3 tbls tomatoes (saved from the sauce)


  1. Sauce: Brown meat and garlic in olive oil. Add tomatoes and cook slowly, uncovered for one hour. Add paste, and enough water and remaining ingredients, cover and let simmer or two hours. Add meatballs to sauce during last hour. Stir gently occasionally.
  2. Meat Balls: Place meat in bowl, add all ingredients at once and mix thoroughly. Roll into balls and fry in skillet with deep fat until lightly browned on all sides. Add meat balls to sauce and cook together slowly, covered, for one hour. Don't stir for first twenty minus or until meat balls rise to top of kettle.
  3. Place pats of butter on top of sauce. Serve with side of cheese and thick slices of garlic bread. Serves six.
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