Little Nona's Meatballs

Little Nona's Meatballs

When I think about the first meal I can remember eating, it’s my great grandmother’s spaghetti and meatballs. She only made it on Sundays and we all sat around her linen covered table and ate it together. I must have been four and she was in her 90’s, Italian-born and had raised nine children through the Great Depression. She was a tiny lady that wore thick glasses, spoke with a thick Italian accent and folded her hands when she talked.

I never cooked much until I started working at Home Place with Marshall. Learning to cook cuts of meat that we had raised and butchered totally changed my way of looking at food. Nona’s recipe is a great way to use up a pound of ground beef and I’m excited it’s around to share with you. Make the meatballs for dinner or throw them in a re-sealable bag and freeze them for later.

– John Jordan Proctor


  • 2 tbsp. parsley, minced
  • 1 Lb of Home Place Ground Beef
  • ½ Medium Onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp. parmigiano-reggiano, grated
  • 2 tbsp. Celery, minced
  • Big slice of crusty white bread
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut a ¾ inch piece of crusty white bread and soak in a bowl with a cup of milk. Mince the parsley, onion, celery and garlic with a knife or a food processor. Grate 2 big tablespoons of parmigiano-reggiano. Once the bread has soaked through, mash the bread up with the back of a fork and drain the excess milk from the breadcrumbs. Incorporate all of the ingredients in a bowl with a big pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper. Form and arrange on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Brown meatballs in the oven to desired color. Cover in your favorite pasta sauce and simmer for an hour on low heat. Toss with spaghetti cooked al dente in salted water. If you feel like being a boss, grate some more Parm on top with your Microplane and finish with a pinch of chopped parsley.


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