Aperol and Meatballs

When I was in the Northern part of Italy this summer, we were introduced to the beautiful and refreshing drink the Aperol Spritz! So when invited to one of my favorite places, Nicki’s in Napa, I offered to make an Italian dinner of Spaghetti and mozzarella stuffed meatballs and serve Aperol Spritz’s!


The Aperol Spritz
3 parts Aperol Liqueur
2 parts Proseco
1 part Pellegrino or Sparkling Water
1 large slice of orange
Serve over ice in a goblet


Aperol is an apertif that has an orange flavor and is similar to Campari, but not as bitter.
Sophisticated and refreshing! Great for a warm summer evening!


The most delicious Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs!


Pam’s Tomato Sauce
Serves 10-12

4- 28 oz cans of DiNapoli peeled plum tomatoes with basil
1- 8 oz cube of Plugra butter-salted
5- whole garlic cloves
4- small onions peeled and cut in half
10- large basil leaves (fresh)
1/3 cup red wine
1 t. crushed red pepper flakes
3 T. brown sugar
Kosher Salt

Put all ingredients, except salt and sugar, in a large sauce pan (4 quart). Bring to a simmer and lower heat to low and cook for 45 min. Increase heat slightly and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Let cool and blend ingredients with an immersion blender. Add sugar and salt to taste. Best if made one day in advance of serving. Reheat to a simmer and serve with meatballs.
(Slight rendition of Marcella Hazan’s Famous 4-Ingredient Tomato Sauce)

Pam’s Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Meat Balls
Serves 10-12+

1 lb. Ground Sirloin
1 lb. Ground Veal
1 lb. Ground Pork
3 eggs beaten
3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving on spaghetti
¼ cup chopped parsley
1½ cup Gene’s Quito Garlic Romano homemade croutons (or Italian Breadcrumbs)
1 cup whole milk
1 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1½ medium yellow onions chopped
4 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. salt
½ t. pepper
Mozzarella Cheese
Olive Oil

Put croutons in a bowl and pour milk over, let sit for 10 minutes.
Place ground meats in large bowl and mix together, form a well in center.
Place all ingredients, except crouton mixture, in to well and mix until well combined.
Gently fold in crouton mixture. Form into 1½” balls and stuff a quarter size piece of mozzarella cheese inside and seal. Can be made one day in advance. Place on cookie sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil, brush oil evenly on balls with a pastry brush. Bake for 22-25 minutes at 350 degrees, turning once halfway through. Remove meatballs and add to simmering tomato sauce. Serve over spaghetti noodles and more freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese.

11 Responses to “Aperol and Meatballs”

  1. Sandy says:

    LoveLoveLove this blog! Congratulations! Great photos and ambience. xo u

  2. Nancy Z says:

    Love all of it, Pam!

  3. LWC says:

    Wonderful…..informative and refreshing! Good luck!

  4. Kim says:

    I love Aperol spritz’s! We also discovered them while in Italy (Venice) about 3 years ago. It is now my favorite drink!


  5. Linda Daane says:

    Can you make the Aperol Spritz’s for book club? Your hair looks great for being on vacation!!

    • Pamela Blackwell says:

      It’s dry in Napa, good hair there! I made them for the Gatsby book club, you were in Hawaii, we will have to wait until next year…it’s a summer drink!!!

  6. Cynthia Davis says:

    Wow, I’m amazed Pammie! You did it…..

  7. Kimberly says:

    Hi Pammie!

    I’m enjoying your website… reviewing your recipes and also love your list of your favorite SF restaurants.
    Thank you for sharing your pearls and treasures you find
    along your way!


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