Carrabba's Spaghetti & Meatballs
Carrabba's Spaghetti & Meatballs

Mama Mandola’s Meatballs Recipe

July 10, 2015 -

Another family heirloom recipe that is on the Carrabba’s Menu is Mama Mandola’s meatballs. This recipe makes 36 meatballs so we recommend freezing some of them so you can cook up a batch of spaghetti and meatballs or make meatball sandwiches easily. Once the meatballs are cooked and cooled, you can transfer them to an airtight container and freeze them for up to two months. We recommend thawing them overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Makes 36 meatballs, enough for 12 servings


  • Olive oil for the baking sheets
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ cup plain dried breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup of water
  • 1 ¾ pounds ground round beef (85% lean)
  • 1 ¾ pounds ground pork


  1. Position racks in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°F
  2. Lightly oil 2 large rimmed baking sheets
  3. Pulse the onion, scallions, parsley, basil, and garlic together in a food processor fitted with a metal blade about 8 times, or until very finely minced
  4. Add the egg and pulse a few times to combine
  5. Transfer everything to a large bowl
  6. Add water, the breadcrumbs, Romano cheese, salt and pepper, and then stir to combine
  7. Add the ground round and ground pork, and mix well
  8. Rinse hands under cold water, and then shape the mixture into 36 meatballs and arrange them on the baking sheets
  9. Bake until the meatballs are browned and show no sign of pink when pierced with the tip of the knife, about 25 minutes
  10. Let the meatballs cool

Now, how should you add some sauce to these guys? Check out the recipe to our Pomodoro Sauce. If you’re serving a family of four, you’ll need about 12 meatballs (three for each person) and 1 pound of pasta. For 1 pound of pasta, you’re going to want to combine 1 quart of Pomodoro Sauce and ½ cup of water in a large saucepan. Add the meatballs and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, taking care not to break up the meatballs, until they are heated through and the sauce is slightly reduced, so about 20 minutes.

Need help boiling that pound of spaghetti too? Check out our post on “How To Boil The Perfect Pot of Pasta.

If you have any questions about any of the steps above, feel free to comment below. Ciao ya’ll!