A Short History Of Spaghetti and Meatballs

Learn about the history of spaghetti and meatballs!

Learn about the history of spaghetti and meatballs!

Spaghetti and meatballs is a classic dish found all over the world and is considered a staple dinner menu item. While we believe that most pasta dishes are considered to be Italian, you likely won’t find the dish anywhere in Italy. Continue reading for a short history on spaghetti and meatballs, and find a special recipe from owner Mary Giolitti on how to make her favorite meatballs at home!

Italian Immigrants

While spaghetti and meatballs is not a meal served in Italy, the origin of the meal started with Italian immigrants coming to the U.S. in 1880-1920. Most of the immigrants were impoverished, but found the food in America to be much more affordable; they were spending about 25% of their income on food rather than the 75% they were spending in Italy. As they had more money for food, meat became a staple for Italian immigrants, and families were having meatballs for dinner more often!

Spaghetti was one of the only Italian ingredients available in the U.S. at the time, so people began eating the pasta and meatballs together. The Italian-American meal became more prominent over time, and today, it is one of the most well-loved dishes in the country.

Owner Mary Giolitti’s Favorite Meatball Recipe

Giolitti Deli owner Mary Giolitti is sharing her favorite meatball recipe so you can try it for yourself at home! To make the meatballs, you will need:

  • 4 cups soft bread crumbs
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 ½ lb lean ground beef
  • 3 sprigs parsley, chopped
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 ⅔ cup imported parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons soft butter

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Start by moistening bread crumbs with the milk. In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients together, just until combined. Form the mixture into balls and bake at 375 degrees until brown and cooked through- check on them after about 15-20 minutes. When they are done, add to your favorite marinara sauce and serve on their own, on a sandwich, or over a plate of hot spaghetti!  

Authentic Italian Cuisine From Giolitti Deli

Giolitti Deli is a full-service Delicatessen in Annapolis, MD, specializing in authentic Italian cuisine. Founded in 1992, we use the freshest ingredients to make time-honed recipes from scratch, with no MSG or preservatives. We believe in real food and offer many healthy options, including vegetarian and vegan menu items. At Giolitti Deli, we make our own sauces, mozzarella, grilled and roasted vegetables, bread, pizza dough, and desserts, and our sandwiches, salads, pasta, pizza, and entrees are made to order. Owner Mary Giolitti has combined her passion for great food and fine wine to offer Annapolis a true taste of Italy!

Team members who also make the business possible include Manager Kathy Hunter, Manager and Catering Director Cheryl Molesky, Head Baker Porfirio Diaz, Chef Alfredo Escobar, and Deli Manager Noe Merino. To contact us, please visit our contact page or give us a call at 410.266.8600. Also, be sure to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and our blog!

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