Pork Meatballs and Spicy Sauce

 This dish is super versatile. Mix up the meatballs for meatball subs, or spaghetti. Make them tiny for soup, or giant for whatever reasons. Paired with the rigatoni and a bright and spicy sauce, this is sure to be a family favorite.

Rigatoni noodles sit in a white ball with pork meatballs in a red pasta sauce. Flecks of parmesan can be seen on the pasta and plate.


Meatball Ingredients

  • 2lb Pork Sausage, mild
  • 1Lg Onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2C Whole Milk
  • 1/2C Italian Seasoned Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 3-4 dashes Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1T Onion Powder
  • 1T Garlic Powder
  • 2-3T Italian Seasoning
  • 2t Black Pepper

Meatball Preparation

  1. Place a large stainless bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the milk, worchesterchire and bread crumbs.
  3. Combine seasonings.
  4. Place the pork in the bowl and using wet hands, mash the pork against the sides of the bowl, making a deep well.
  5. Fill this well with the onions, garlic, seasonings, and milk and crumb paste.
  6. Mix well with hands until a homogenous mixture is achieved.

Note: If pork becomes sticky, or a paste starts to form, place back in the freezer for 3-5 minutes.

  1. Onto a parchment paper lined tray, place golf ball sized pieces of pork. A #10 disher or a damp hand can be used to achieve a correct weight and size.

These can be frozen on the tray over night and then placed in a freezer appropriate container or zip-top up to 6 months and used as needed.

Spicy Red Sauce with Rigatoni Ingredients

  • 1lb Rigatoni, no. 27
  • 2 14oz cans, Diced Tomatoes
  • 1C Merlot or other Red Wine
  • 2T Tomato Paste
  • 1 White Onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 8oz can mushrooms, sliced and drained (or fresh mushrooms)
  • 1/2T Red Chili Flake or Calibrian Chili
  • 1T Oregano
  • 1/2T Thyme
  • 2 dashes Worchestershire

Spicy Red Sauce with Rigatoni Preparation

  1. In a large brazier, over a medium heat, warm animal fat or neutral oil of choice.
  2. Place ~16 meatballs into the pan (If cooking from frozen, allow for a lower heat to prevent burning.)
  3. Brown the meatballs on all sides as desired.
  4. Once browned, move the meatballs to one side of the pan, and introduce the onions. Cook 3-5 minutes until transluscent.
  5. Add mushrooms and cook 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 2~ minutes.
  7. In a bowl, whisk together wine and tomato paste.
  8. Make a well in the onions and mushrooms, and cook wine and tomato paste until the smell of alcohol is disapated and a rich fragrant paste has formed.
  9. Add tomatoes, seasonings, and 8oz of water to pan. Mix and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, 15-20 minutes.
  10. In a large sauce pan, bring several quarts of water to a boil and salt heavily. (1-2T of kosher salt for 3qt water.)
  11. Boil Rigatoni 12-14 minutes.
  12. Place a large collander over a heat resistant bowl.
  13. Strain Rigatoni into collander.
  14. Place two ladles of sauce (sans meatballs) into the bottom of the sauce pan. Mix in one ladle of pasta water.
  15. Place the rigatoni on top of this sauce.
  16. Spoon the sauce into the rigatoni, folding gently to incorporate, reserving the meatballs.
  17. Loosen the sauce with tablespoons of pasta water as desired.

Note: The sauce should stick to the grooves of the rigatoni and be well coated inside and out.

  1. Serve in a high sided bowl with 3-4 meatballs per person. Top with grated parmesan if desired.