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Worldwide Gastronomy Habits & Trends

Spaghetti with meatballs: the non-Italian Disney recipe

ByChiara Casagrande

Sep 23, 2021

The Italian cuisine is famous all over the globe. Still, there are some “fake recipes” that have nothing to do with Italy. Here we have the memorable Spaghetti with meatballs from the Disney movie ‘Lady and the Tramp’! Let’s discover the original recipe for the perfect romantic date!

“Lady and the Tramp”: the tasty Spaghetti with meatballs

Spaghetti with meatballs from Disney movie”Lady and the Tramp”

Nothing like Disney movies make us dream when we are children! We fall in love with royal balls, dragons, magic and enchanted palaces. Nonetheless, some of us fall in love with amazing and super tasty dishes as well! Everyone knows the romantic story between Lady, a sweet and bourgeois cocker, and Tramp, a stray dog. Despite the social differences among them, they madly fall in love with each other and they get to have a real romantic date at the Italian restaurant.

The table is set and a small candle enlightens the atmosphere, while some slow songs frame the night. At some point, a huge dish of Spaghetti with meatballs interrupts the sweet glances of the two lovebirds: dinner is served! Lady and the Tramp begin eating the pasta, still looking at each other with the eyes of love. Then, they realise they are chewing the same spaghetto, which means they are about to kiss. Lady blushes and the gentleman leaves her the piece of pasta. What a sweet moment! Yet, despite the cute scene, spaghetti with meatballs are not an Italian recipe! Let’s find out something more about them!

The italo-american tradition of pasta

Italians migrating to America

When you think about Italy, the first thing that comes to your mind is pasta! And this is not wrong at all! Carbohydrates and pasta are a fundamental element in the Mediterranean diet, especially in the Italian one. The home-made one is definitely my favorite one, but you can find many different types of good pasta on the supermarket shelves! Between 1800 and 1915, almost 4 million of Italians decided to migrate to America, specifically to New York city. Since then, they started to populate the town, having their own ethnic neighborhood, Little Italy.

Moving to another country means being ready for a new adventure, a fresh start! Nonetheless, it is impossible to ignore the culture and the tradition which has shaped you. For this reason, these Italian people brought with them a huge amount of typical elements, such as recipes. Then, we have the birth of a new cultural identity, the Italo-American one. This new generation begun to put together old Italian traditions, mixing them within the American ones. From this pot, they dragged out the spaghetti with meatballs. The closest Italian version of this dish is pasta with ragù, a soup made of tomatoes, onions, carrots and mincemeat ( if you want to try this amazing recipe, click here). According to the sources, the recipe of these spaghetti appeared for the first time 1888. In fact, a certain Juliet Corson wrote about a “pasta with tomato and meat balls”.

Long story short: how do we prepare this dish? Here is the original recipe!

The recipe for a perfect dinner

Spaghetti with meatballs

We have been exploring the history and the cinematographic version of this meal, now it is time to go through the actual recipe! Ingredients are considered for 4 people!

Ingredients for the tomato soup:

  • 360 g of spaghetti
  • 500 g of tomato soup
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 dried chilli pepper
  • parsley
  • some leaves of basil
  • salt
  • 3 spoons of olive oil

Ingredients for meatballs:

  • 250 g of mincemeat
  • parsley
  • 2 spoons of parmisan cheese
  • 1 big spoon of breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of flour
  • 5 spoons of olive oil

Proceeding for your home-made spaghetti with meatballs

Preparation 15 mins – Cooking 40 mins

First, you want to start with the preparation of the meatballs. Take a bowl and put in it the mincemeat, parsley, salt and pepper. Then, mix it up! After, you want to add olive oil, the egg, parmisan cheese and some bread crumbs. Now, make some balls within the mixture: use some flour if they are too fluffy.

When the meatballs are shaped, you can start with the sauce. Take a large pan and add olive oil and the garlic glove. Wait until it gets golden, then add the tomato soup. Be careful, do not burn it! In the meanwhile, take another pan and cover its bottom with olive oil. Add the meatballs and let them brown: it will take more or less 7-8 minutes. Dry them with paper towels and remove the oil in excess. After that, you want to put the meatballs in the other pan, the one with the tomato sauce.

While waiting for the dressing to be ready, boil 360 g of spaghetti in salted water. Do not overcook them! (Sorry Americans, just do not do it). Drain the pasta and mix it up with the tasty sauce. Decorate with some parsley and basil and, buon appetito!

Finally I recommend you to have a glass (or more) of red wine along with your meal. Alternatively, if you are not a huge fan of wine, have a dark and strong beer! (Here you have an article for beer-lovers about beer’s magical powers).

The dinner is served, enjoy your meal and don’t forget to play some good music!