I have the golden ticket, the secret of secret recipes, the game-changer, the be-all and end-all– the recipe for hands down, the best spaghetti and meatballs you’ll ever eat. #ChefAdrian literally killed the spaghetti game with this recipe that includes fresh, hand-made spaghetti, a basil and duck meatball, light tomato sauce and sprinkled Pecorino Romano. It is– and always will be– my favorite dish he makes. Now you can enjoy it too. You’re welcome.

The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs You’ll Ever Eat

Serves 4


  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 shallots, finely minced
  • 1 bunch of basil, chiffonade, reserve 4 leaves
  • ½ cup olive oil and more for drizzling
  • 1 pack of spaghetti
  • 1 14 oz. can of San Marzano tomato puree
  • 4 pinches of chili flakes
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano, grated
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 lb. ground duck meat
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs



In a cold sauce pan put ¼ cup olive oil, minced garlic, shallots, 3 pinches of the chili flakes and basil and bring to a slow simmer. Once garlic starts browning slightly, remove from the heat and divide mixture in half, adding half of the mixture to a large bowl. Once the mixture is cooled, add duck meat, egg, Panko breadcrumbs, ¼ cup of the Pecorino and thoroughly combine the ingredients. Place the mixture in the fridge for 10 minutes before rolling the meatballs, as this helps to firm them. Divide the meat into 4 even portions and roll out into meatballs. Heat ¼ cup of olive oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat and brown the meatballs on all sides before placing them into a 350 degree pre-heated oven. Cook them for 10 minutes.


Return the sauce pan with basil & garlic mixture to medium heat and add tomato puree, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Taste and re season if necessary. Blend sauce with an immersion blender until there are no chunks. Boil pasta for about 9-10 minutes or to your preference. Drain and immediately toss with ¼ cup of the grated Pecorino (this helps the sauce stick to pasta). Return pasta to the sauce and toss together. If you want pasta with less sauce (which I recommend in this case!), you may remove ¼ cup of sauce before adding the pasta. Evenly portion out pasta in bowls. Add one meatball per bowl, top with a spoon of the remaining sauce, sprinkle Pecorino, drizzle some olive oil, add a pinch of chili flakes and garnish with a basil leaf.

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do! Would love to hear what you think– comment below!