Frank Sinatra meatballs

450 g ground beef
300 g ground veal (or pork)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
100 g freshly grated Romano cheese
6 g chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
salt and ground black pepper to taste
90 g stale Italian bread, crumbled
100 ml lukewarm water
olive oil

(makes approx 18-20 meatballs depending on size)

I have tried so many meatball recipes, and this one is a real winner. The meatballs are perfect in texture and taste. Frank Sinatra’s meatballs is Dolly Sinatra’s (Frank’s mother) recipe – she was a great cook and he loved his mama’s cooking! Whenever I make this my whole family is ecstatic – we always have a smashing meal.

Combine the minced beef and veal in a large bowl. Add the crushed garlic, eggs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.
Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture. Slowly add the water. The mixture should be moist but firm enough to make meatballs. Shape into meatballs.
Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Fry 5-6 meatballs at a time until browned and cooked. Place on a paper towel to drain off excess oil.

Serve with spaghetti and Dolly’s marinara sauce. I like to add a few spoons of marinara sauce and sprinkle some pecorino or parmesan cheese on the meatballs – it makes them extra succulent.

Here’s a recipe I love, mainly because it’s Dolly Sinatra’s (Frank Sinatra’s mother) recipe for a perfect marinara sauce. I have done this some one million times – it’s delicious.

Dolly’s marinara sauce
(Serves 4)

80 ml olive oil
1 chopped onion
3 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 can tomatoes (chopped or crushed with a crusher)
1 tbps tomato concentrated purée
1 tsp oregano
Handful chopped basil
Half a glass of red wine
salt and pepper


Heat the oil in a saucepan and cook the onion until tender. Add the garlic for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, herbs and purée. Simmer for 30 minutes.  In the original recipe there is no wine, but I like the extra taste it gives to the sauce. Instead of putting a lid I cover the saucepan with a sheet of parchment paper – I find this trick makes the sauce perfect in texture.

6 thoughts on “Frank Sinatra meatballs

  1. Reblogged this on Ogled and commented:
    Fabulous looking meatball recipe from the equally fabulous Mimi Thorisson. So excited to have discovered this elegant blog and will be following a number of the recipes over the coming weeks.

  2. Boulettes concoctées en écoutant “From Gainsbourg to Lulu”, cuites avec précautions et savourées en bonne compagnie!
    Merci, tout simplement parfaites ces boulettes!!

  3. These are very tasty but tonight I will attempt to make the Polpette Al Forno con Mozzarella from your Old World Italian cookbook. I am loving your latest book!

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