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Nidi di Spaghetti |

Spaghetti Nests (Nidi di Spaghetti)

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An easy spaghetti recipe that nestles meatballs in little spaghetti nests.


  • Ingredients:
  • • For the meatballs:
  • o Extra-virgin olive oil
  • o 1 medium onion, chopped
  • o Salt
  • o 3 cloves garlic, chopped, divided
  • o Red pepper flakes
  • o 1 large bunch broccoli rape
  • o 1 pound ground beef
  • o ½ pound ground sausage
  • o 2 eggs
  • o ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • o ½ cup Parmigiano
  • o About ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • • For the sauce:
  • o Extra-virgin olive oil
  • o 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • o ½ cup dry red wine
  • o 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes with juice, chopped
  • o About 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • o Salt and pepper
  • • For the nests:
  • o 1/2 pound spaghetti
  • o ½ cup Parmigiano
  • o Salt and pepper


  1. • In the pan in which you intend to fry the meatballs, drizzle a few tablespoons of oil. Add the onions over medium heat. Salt generously. Cook until the onions are just softened, about 5 minutes. Add about 2/3 of the chopped garlic and a dash of red pepper flakes. Sauté for another minute. Remove onions from heat. Transfer to the bowl in which you will mix the meatballs and allow to cool. Wipe pan clean.
  2. • Trim the tough ends of the broccoli rabe. Coarsely chop. In the same pan, drizzle a few more tablespoons of oil and heat over medium heat. Add in the chopped broccoli rabe and remaining chopped garlic. Salt generously. Sauté until tender. Remove from heat. Allow to cool and remove to cutting board. Finely chop broccoli rabe. Add to the onions.
  3. • Add the ground beef, ground sausage, eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmigiano and parsley to the bowl. Mix with hands. Season with salt and pepper. Mix with your hands again. Test by frying a little patty. Adjust seasonings if necessary.
  4. • Using moistened hands, form the mixture into little golf-ball sized meatballs.
  5. • Coat the same pan you have been using with more oil and bring to medium heat. Add the meatballs and fry on all sides until browned. Remove to paper towels to drain. Repeat until all the meatballs are cooked.
  6. • Make the sauce: Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large pot or skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add in the chopped tomatoes with their juices and parsley. Stir. Season with salt and pepper. Add in the meatballs and stir. Cover and simmer on low for about 15 minutes.
  7. • Cook the spaghetti until al dente, according to package directions. Combine the spaghetti with about ½ cup of sauce and the Parmigiano. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed.
  8. • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease or oil a non-stick muffin pan. Using tongs, pick up some spaghetti and twirl into a muffin cup. Make a little indentation in the middle of each, forming a nest. Place a meatball in the center of each. Bake in the oven until the nests are set, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  9. • Remove the spaghetti nests from the pan and place on a serving platter. Top with additional sauce and Parmigiano and serve!
  • Category: Pasta, Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian