This Roman Meatballs with Arrabbiata Sauce recipe basically came about after experimenting with an idea I had after reading about ancient Roman cooking ingredients. The meatball in tomato sauce, that humble and quintessential meal synonymous with Italy is what’s being served up today, but with a twist of course!
Today I’m serving you my Roman Meatballs with Arrabbiata Sauce. In researching some ideas of ancient cuisines I stumbled across the Roman diet. While not big meat eaters in general, their normal meals consisted of lots of vegetables, herbs, fruits and spices.
For what we consider breakfast it was fruit mixed together with wheat porridge or pancakes topped with dates an honey. Breads, olives and cheeses were the average lunch with the possibility of some sort of meat, but the main meal was vegetables, various sausages, meats like various fowl, seafood and fish with meats notably boiled or fried in olive oil.
My first thought was what happened to the open pit fires for roasting, but I’m sure it was done, just not as popular. I mean I was thinking of Italian pizza ovens and such.
Various dishes were sauced and the Romans love their condiments. One in particular was a mixture of fish, vinegars honey, peppers and herbs and spices. Fermented sauces were big. Consider how today we love our Sriracha, catsup and soy sauces.
While this isn’t a roasted peacock or ostrich, it is a simple and easy to put together meal that is big on flavor and bold in taste. The humble and satisfying meatball!
I decided to incorporate the pine nut and golden raisin, along with red pepper flakes, herbs and cheeses to make this meatball. Simmered in an Arrabbita Sauce, a red pepper spiced tomato sauce, and served over whole wheat spaghetti. With a Type 2 Diabetic in the house here I like to use whole wheat pasta that breaks down slower than regular pasta.
Grate some fresh Parmesan cheese over all and dig in!
For other meatball recipes, try my Stuffed Green Chili Meatballs in Tomatillo Sauce, Persian Meatballs with Dried Cherries and Pistachios, or these Chinese Lemon Chicken Meatballs. Enjoy!
Roman Meatballs with Arrabbiata Sauce
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1/4 cup parsley chopped
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup pinenuts
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup each parmesan and Romano cheese
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 batch arrabbiata sauce
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl thoroughly. Roll into 16 balls and arrange on a baking sheet or pan with sides. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from pan and add to a stock pot with your favorite marina or arrabbiata sauce (See Recipe link in post). Simmer for 15 minutes. Serve over pasta of choice.