Patsy’s Spaghetti & Veal Meatballs

All’s well that ends well. Patsy’s Spaghetti & Veal Meatballs WILL be in my future!  And today Patsy’s and I are celebrating National Pasta Day!  

Patsy's Spaghetti & Veal Meatballs

Patsy’s Spaghetti & Veal Meatballs (image courtesy of Patsy’s)

New Yorkers may well recognize the name. Patsy’s Italian Restaurant on Manhattan’s West Side, has been a legendary dining destination in New York’s Theatre District since 1944, when it was founded by Pasquale “Patsy” Scognamillo. Still in the family, Patsy’s attracts a varied & loyal clientele including regular patrons, Italian food aficionados, tourists and celebrities like the late Frank Sinatra, Alec Baldwin, Oprah Winfrey and more.  

No trip to New York coming up?  No problem—they have published a (second) cookbook and are even making jarred pasta sauce!  Mmmm!

Patsy's Italian Restaurant, NYC

Patsy’s Italian Restaurant, NYC (image courtesy of Patsy’s)

I’d sooo wish I could review the sauce right now but, alas, mine is in the mail.  My reply on this offer ended up in the marketing exec’s spam folder and when she realized what happened she sent off a hurried response.  The sauce would arrive late, but could I still fit this in?  The famous Patsy’s spaghetti and meatballs?  Um, yes!

I can tell you that I have loved other higher end sauces I’ve tried. I’ve been surprised at the amount of extra flavor they deliver–though I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that quality ingredients = better flavor.    Nope, pasta sauce is not all created equal.  

Patsy's Spaghetti & Veal Meatballs

Patsy’s Spaghetti & Veal Meatballs (image courtesy of Patsy’s)

Patsy’s also shared a recipe from their cookbook, for Spaghetti & Veal Meatballs, which I can’t wait to try (I even found organic veal)!  Then maybe my kids (who don’t think I can make good spaghetti to save my life) will start eating my spaghetti again!

The recipe came with a cute story of the time they took these popular but “old fashioned” meatballs off the menu.  When customers protested, they put them back for a two day special, and the response was overwhelming.  The meatballs never came off the menu again!  



Happy National Pasta Day! 

Patsy's Spaghetti & Veal Meatballs

Patsy's Spaghetti and Veal Meatballs

Celebrate National Pasta Day with delicious Spaghetti & Veal Meatballs from the famed Patsy's Italian Restaurant in New York City!
Author: Inger
4.97 from 31 votes
Course Main Dish
Servings 6



  • 1 ½ pounds ground veal
  • cup plain dried bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of dried oregano


  • 2 cups olive oil for frying
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 4 cups tomato sauce
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving


  • To make the meatballs: Combine the veal, bread crumbs, eggs, Pecorino Romani, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix them together thoroughly. Roll into 12 meatballs and transfer to a plate.
  • Line a platter or baking sheet with paper towels and place near the stove. Heat the oil in a large deep skillet and heat over high heat until the oil is shimmering (350° F on a deep-frying thermometer). Working in batches, without crowding, carefully add the meatballs and fry, turning occasionally, until they are nicely browned, 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the paper towels. Reheat the oil to shimmering before adding each batch.
  • Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
  • Bring the tomato sauce to simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the meatballs and reduced the heat to medium-low. Cover the saucepan and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • When the meatballs are added to the sauce, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain the spaghetti and return it to its cooking pot. Add about half of the tomato sauce and mix well. Divide the pasta and meatballs among pasta bowls and top with the remaining sauce. Serve hot with the Parmigiano-Reggiano passed on the side.
I am not a health professional and nutrition data is calculated programatically. Accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


160 thoughts on “Patsy’s Spaghetti & Veal Meatballs

  1. Richard Courtright

    I love these meatballs. They are the closest to my mothers meatballs. Ive tried various receipes but this is the one
    Great Work!

    1. Inger Post author

      I wish I could say I invented it but still happy to share–and so happy you enjoyed!

  2. Karen

    5 stars
    Is tenderness your reason for using veal opposed to prime ground beef?

    Or is it the calf’s separation from it’s mother at birth, confined to a box that allows NO ABILITY TO MOVE A MUSCLE for 6 months or less, then butchered
    that wins your preference?
    If so, here is something you will enjoy:

    1. Inger Post author

      Karen, if you’d actually read the post, you would know that I didn’t make the dish. It is simply an excerpt from their cookbook. A person would be free to use whatever meat they chose–or none at all.

      I source all of my meat right from the farm and know that the animals are raised under good conditions, including one farm which has consulted with Temple Grandin and uses her handling techniques. BTW, I wouldn’t use “prime” ground beef–all of my beef is pasture-raised and finished and, while delicious, lacks designations like that.

  3. Amy Gibby

    My whole family loves when I make spaghetti and I always put in a lot of Parmesan cheese 🙂 however, my favorite Italian food is egg plant Parmesan!!! ❤️❤️ I got love all over the place for Italian food LOL

  4. Laurie Nykaza

    5 stars
    Gnocchi is one of my families favorites and we like it with different sauces on it so good

  5. Annmarie W.

    My favorite Italian dish is Chicken Scampi! And lasagna is a close 2nd…as long as it has LOTS & LOTS of cheese in it!

  6. Jayedee Dewitt

    Great giveaway! One of my favorite italian dishes is eggplant parmesan….no wait! It’s gnocchi with puttansca sauce….no wait! It’s cannoli! Darn it! I like them all!

  7. james jenkins

    I like the dishes that have some juicy meat hidden in a cheese-covered pasta; don’t know the names.

  8. David

    Looks like Nonna Tolaro’s spaghetti and meat balls! It makes my heart sing. No need to include me in the giveaway, as I cannot eat the sauce (garlic) – 🙁

  9. kelley roach

    Italian food has got to be my favorite food! I’d say my #1 Italian dish is lasagna.

  10. Brandi Dawn

    My favorite Italian food is eggplant parmesan. I really love eggplant and there are very few recipes that I have found that it works well with. This is one of them!

  11. Annamarie V

    My favorite Italian food is my Dad’s spaghetti and meatballs and I also love gnocchi.

  12. Wendy R.

    5 stars
    That looks great!! My favorite pasta is fettuccine alfredo with sun dried tomatoes. 🙂

  13. Rushell Tuggle

    My favorite Italian food is an Italian Sausage Soup. So much flavor and great to warm you up on a cool fall or cold winter day!

  14. Cindy Peterson

    Pasta al Burro con Formaggino. It doesn’t get much better than a good Pasta, with browned butter and a lots of cheese. Simple.

  15. Alex

    5 stars
    I love veal Parmigian! Any cut of pasta will do! I have cooked chicken parm to perfection (ask my daughter, the secrets to let the meat finish cooking in the oven), but veal is the best! Have made meatballs lots of times, but never thought of “VEAL” meatballs. Cost, I guess. Thanks for the recipe, hope to win!

  16. Kayte CookWatts

    I love anything with red sauce really. I also love pasta fazool soup- especially when it gets colder!

  17. Stacie H

    5 stars
    My favorite Italian dish is pasta shells stuffed with cheese covered in a meaty tomato sauce!

  18. Lisa

    I love spaghetti! Haven’t had much Italian food, but I’m pretty sure nothing can beat spaghetti. I rarely eat it with meatballs.

  19. David

    5 stars
    My favorite is home made pizza. Not only is it a good food to eat, but our kids really enjoy dressing their own individual pies.

  20. Jeffrey

    My favorite Italian food is Chicken Parmesan served with lasagna and sourdough bread. Both my boys also love it so we eat it a few times a month.

  21. Juliana

    Beautiful pasta Inger…the meatballs sound and look so good…my favorite Italian dish is gnocchi…little potato dumplings 🙂
    Have a wonderful week ahead!

  22. Tamra Phelps

    I am a follower/fan of Art of Natural Living on Facebook, too. Username Tamra Phelps.

  23. Tamra Phelps

    5 stars
    Italian food has got to be my favorite food! I’d say my #1 Italian dish is lasagna. I could eat that every day.

  24. cheri

    5 stars
    Hi Inger, my favorite Italian dish has to be gnocchi. My husband would love these meatballs, they sound alot like the ones his mom used to make. I will have to surprise him.

  25. Mary Beth Elderton

    5 stars
    This looks so delicious! I like almost anything Italian. One family favorite is baked ziti.

  26. Alison Watson

    5 stars
    Yum! The recipe looks awesome! My favorite Italian meal is Spaghetti and Meatballs, but I need lots of cheese on top! Thanks for the chance!

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