Randolfi’s Meatballs

spaghetti and meatballs from randolfi's in st. louis
spaghetti and meatballs from randolfi's photo by greg rannells


6 oz. artisanal day-old white bread, cut into ¼-inch cubes (about 3½ cups)
1½ cups buttermilk
1¼ lbs. ground lamb
1¼ lbs. ground pork
1 egg
2½ tsp. chopped fresh garlic
2 tsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. kosher salt
1¼ tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
¾ tsp. chopped fresh thyme
¾ tsp. fennel pollen
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 14.5-oz. can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, pureed
Spaghetti with Herbs and Cheese (recipe here)
Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


• Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
• In a large bowl, soak the bread in the buttermilk about 20 minutes. Add ¼ pound lamb and ¼ pound pork to the bread mixture and mix until well incorporated. Add the remaining lamb, the remaining pork, the egg, garlic, lemon zest, salt, rosemary, black pepper, red pepper flakes, thyme and fennel pollen and mix well. Use your hands to form the meat mixture into baseball-sized meatballs, 6- to 8-ounces each.
• In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the meatballs, turning every few minutes to sear all sides, about 10 minutes. Place the meatballs in a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish.
• Pour the tomato puree into the skillet over medium-high heat. Scrape any browned bits from the bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Pour the sauce over the meatballs.
• Bake 2 hours. Serve over spaghetti. Garnish with Parmigiano-Reggiano.