Spaghetti with Southwestern-style meatballs

This is adapted from Pierre Franey’s recipe in Cooking with the 60-Minute Gourmet.  As usual, I up the red pepper flakes, and make mandatory the optional jalepeno. As Madonna says, “if you can’t stand the heat, get off of my street”. (From her song I Love New York). To echo the festive Santa Fe feeling that the cumin, cilantro and chili inspire and to cool yourselves down, serve with frosty margaritas.

For Meatballs:

  • 1 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ cup minced onions
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 and ¼ pound ground veal/pork/beef or combination
  • ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon organic ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon organic chile powder
  • Fine sea salt and organic ground black pepper to taste

For Sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
    1 cup minced onion
    1 Tablespoon minced garlic
    1 cup sweet red pepper, chopped
    1 cup green pepper, chopped
    1 small jalepeno pepper
    28 once can crushed tomatoes
    1 teaspoon organic red pepper flakes
    1 cup water
    Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Sautee onion and garlic until wilted. Let cool.
  2. Shape into miniature meatballs, about 20 or so.
  3. Heat olive oil in large pan and cook meatballs, turning, about 10 min.


  1. Heat olive oil. Add onions then remaining ingredients, and blend
  2. Bring to boil then simmer ten minutes.
  3. Add meatballs and simmer 10 minutes more.
  4. Cook spaghetti, drain, toss with olive oil, then sauce and meatballs.

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