Tony Bennett Inspired Linguine Recipe With Homemade Italian Meatballs & Tomato Sauce by Donna John

Tony Bennett Inspired Linguine Recipe With Homemade Italian Meatballs & Tomato Sauce

Legendary jazz crooner Tony Bennett has died at the age of 96. Bennett died in his hometown in New York. Tony Bennett's voice was a familiar sound in my house growing up, and still in my kitchen today. There's nothing like cooking to the soothing voice of Tony Bennett. This week I shared his mom's lasagna recipe, which is one you must try. Another favorite meal of his was linguine with homemade meatballs. We have a whole side of my family that are Italians, so I reached out and got a much-cherished family recipe for pasta with homemade tomato sauce and authentic Italian meatballs.

This Italian dinner does take a little time to make, which is why my aunt and her family usually sit down to enjoy it on the weekend. It's one that I hope Mr. Bennett would find up to his standards. For this pasta dinner you will need linguine noodles, Italian bread, milk, onion, ground beef, ground pork, eggs, flat-leaf-parsley, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, dried basil, Romano cheese, olive oil, cans of San Marzano-style crushed tomatoes, fresh basil and granulated sugar.

Why not make this Italian pasta dinner soon, turn on some Tony Bennett music and enjoy some time with your family? Cooking food and being together as a family is always a wonderful way to honor people we have lost. Rest in peace, Tony.

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Cuisine: Italian 
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 1/2 hours to 3 hours
Total Time: 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours
Servings: 8 to 10




  • 1 cup day-old Italian bread, cut into pieces 
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup finely minced onion
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
  • olive oil, for frying

Tomato Sauce

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Recipe Notes

  • If you don't have a large pot that will cook 2 pounds of pasta noodles, cook the pasta in two pots or 1 pound at a time.
  • If you want a thicker, richer tomato sauce, simmer on low for up to three hours, stirring often. 

Here's how to make it: 

  1. To make the meatballs, put the bread cubes into a bowl. Add the milk and let the bread soak about 15 minutes. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, add all the remaining meatball ingredients. Add the bread after it has soaked. Mix well with a wooden spoon or your clean hands. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. 
  3. Form the meat mixture into meatballs (about 1 1/2 inches). Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the meatballs until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 15 minutes. (If you have a small skillet, you may have to do this in batches.)
  4. To make the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepot. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes with their juice, basil and sugar. Season with salt and black pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cook at least 20 minutes. 
  5. While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions.
  6. Put the meatballs into the sauce and simmer gently for about 30 minutes or more. Serve the meatballs and sauce over the hot linguine. Serve with additional Romano cheese or freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Recipe cooking times and servings are approximate. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography. Need to convert cooking and baking measurements? Here are some kitchen conversion charts. Here's how to submit your recipes to 30Seconds.

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Elisa Schmitz
I love that you honored the amazing Tony Bennett with a recipe we hope he may have enjoyed. It looks delicious. RIP, Tony Bennett. We appreciate all you shared with us and your legacy lives on!
Such a legend, a life well lived.

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