Dominick's spaghetti and meatballs

Time 4 hours
Yields Serves 6
Dominick’s spaghetti and meatballs
(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times )



In a nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring constantly, until they have given up their liquid and it evaporates, and the mushrooms have begun to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Stir in the onion, celery, garlic and parsley, reduce the heat and continue to cook until the vegetables have softened slightly, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375 degrees.


In a large bowl, combine the ground pork and beef with the cooled vegetable mixture, fennel, red pepper, mushroom powder, bread crumbs, egg and salt, mixing until thoroughly combined. Set aside 2 cups of the meat mixture to use in the tomato sauce.


Form the remaining mixture into 12 meatballs, each roughly 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Place the meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until the meatballs are browned and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.


Heat the oven to 300 degrees.


Heat a heavy oven-proof pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot. Add the olive oil, then the onion, celery, garlic and parsley and stir for 3 minutes to marry the flavors. Add the meatball mixture and stir until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the salt, sugar, pepper flakes and tomato paste and continue to cook for 2 minutes.


Stir in the canned tomatoes and bring the mixture to a simmer. Fit the lid over the pot and place the pot in the oven. Cook the sauce for 3 hours, stirring every hour or so. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh basil and oregano. Set aside until completely cooled. This makes about 2 1/2 quarts sauce, which will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week.


Before serving, gently reheat the sauce in the pot (this can be done on the stove top or reheated with the meatballs in a 300-degree oven for 20 minutes or so). Taste and adjust the seasoning if desired. Serve the sauce and meatballs over the spaghetti and garnish with grated Parmesan.

This is adapted from a recipe provided by chef Brandon Boudet of Little Dom’s in Los Feliz and formerly of Dominick’s in West Hollywood.

Noelle Carter is the former Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director. She left in January 2019.
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