How To Make Pasta all’Amatriciana With Spicy Mozzarella Meatballs

How To Make Pasta Allamatriciana With Spicy Mozzarella Meatballs

One of my quarantine projects is going through old content on my blog and cringing at the photography and writing. I save the funny ones as PDFs so I can laugh at myself in the future but am also slowly reshooting some of the bad photography and salvaging what I can. I originally shared this recipe for Pasta All’Amatriciana with Spicy Mozzarella Meatballs on my blog in 2010 as a way to preserve a recipe that I adapted from Giada. You know, just in case Food Network ever deletes the recipe. I think it’s been just as long since I’ve made this recipe since it’s easy but fussy. It was such a joy to revisit this recipe to reshoot the photos. It was the first time I made it for Sugarface in our 5 years together and he called it “restaurant-quality.” And now the photos are not laughably bad. (Reference for your enjoyment.)

The meatballs are so good they could even stand on their own. But when you combine them with the pasta all’Amatriciana, you have a well-rounded dinner!

Pasta all’Amatriciana With Spicy Mozzarella Meatballs

Pasta all'Amatriciana with Spicy Stuffed Mozzarella Meatballs. Very much worth the prep time.
Prep Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: all’Amatriciana, mozzarella meatballs, pasta, Pasta all’Amatriciana With Spicy Mozzarella Meatballs
Servings: 6


All'Amatriciana Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 ounces pancetta diced
  • 1 yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • 1 small 6-ounce onion, grated
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley plus 1/4 cup (set aside for finishing)
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus 1/4 cup (set aside for finishing)
  • 1/3 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more for seasoning
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 8 ounces ground veal turkey
  • 2 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese cut into 16 (1/2-inch) cubes
  • 1 pound linguine


For Sauce

  • In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown. This should take about 5 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta and reserve.
  • Add the onion to the sauce pan and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the can of tomatoes, salt, black pepper, and the cooked pancetta.
  • Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

For the Meatballs

  • Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, combine the onion, parsley, parmesan, bread crumbs, egg, ketchup, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper. Add the beef and turkey. Combine all ingredients gently but thoroughly.
  • Shape the meat mixture into 16 meatballs. They should be about 1-1/2 inch in diameter each.
  • Make a hole in the center of each meatball and place a cube of mozzarella inside. Reshape the meatball so that the mozzarella is completely covered with the meat mixture.
  • Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes until cooked through.
  • While the meatballs bake, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. This should take about 8 -10 minutes.
  • Drain the pasta and place in a large serving bowl. Add the meatballs and sauce. Toss gently and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Liberally garnish with parsley and parmesan.


Adapted from Giada’s recipe. 

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And there you have it. Pasta all’Amatriciana with Spicy Mozzarella Meatballs. Overall, it’s an easy recipe but it is time-consuming. What with the grating and chopping and shaping and reshaping of meatballs. Pick a leisurely Sunday where you can meditate over shaping meatballs. I promise you, this recipe is worth it.

Pasta all'Amatriciana With Spicy Mozzarella Meatballs

Save this Pasta all’Amatriciana With Spicy Mozzarella Meatballs Recipe on Pinterest!

Another recent and much less arduous recipe I republished from my archives is a great condiment to keep in your fridge! Check out how to make Mul Kimchi with everyday ingredients.

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