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Dominick's spaghetti and meatballs

Dominick's spaghetti and meatballs
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

There were many reasons to love Dominick's, the legendary restaurant in West Hollywood that specialized in Italian American classics for close to 70 years before closing in December. There was the history: Dominick's was a favorite of Hollywood royalty for ... Read more

Total time: About 4 hours, plus cooling time | Serves 6


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups diced button mushrooms, from about 12 ounces of mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground pork
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground beef
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons porcini mushroom powder
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Step 1In a nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring constantly, until they have given up their liquid and it evaporates, and the mushrooms have begun to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Stir in the onion, celery, garlic and parsley, reduce the heat and continue to cook until the vegetables have softened slightly, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Step 2In a large bowl, combine the ground pork and beef with the cooled vegetable mixture, fennel, red pepper, mushroom powder, bread crumbs, egg and salt, mixing until thoroughly combined. Set aside 2 cups of the meat mixture to use in the tomato sauce.

Step 3Form the remaining mixture into 12 meatballs, each roughly 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Place the meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until the meatballs are browned and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Dominick's spaghetti and meatballs

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 cups meatball mixture, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 3 (28-ounce) cans chopped tomatoes
  • 3 to 4 sprigs fresh basil
  • 3 to 4 sprigs fresh oregano
  • Prepared meatballs
  • 1 pound cooked spaghetti, tossed with butter
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving

Step 1Heat the oven to 300 degrees.

Step 2Heat a heavy oven-proof pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot. Add the olive oil, then the onion, celery, garlic and parsley and stir for 3 minutes to marry the flavors. Add the meatball mixture and stir until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the salt, sugar, pepper flakes and tomato paste and continue to cook for 2 minutes.

Step 3Stir in the canned tomatoes and bring the mixture to a simmer. Fit the lid over the pot and place the pot in the oven. Cook the sauce for 3 hours, stirring every hour or so. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh basil and oregano. Set aside until completely cooled. This makes about 2 1/2 quarts sauce, which will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week.

Step 4Before serving, gently reheat the sauce in the pot (this can be done on the stove top or reheated with the meatballs in a 300-degree oven for 20 minutes or so). Taste and adjust the seasoning if desired. Serve the sauce and meatballs over the spaghetti and garnish with grated Parmesan.

Note: This is adapted from a recipe provided by chef Brandon Boudet of Little Dom's in Los Feliz and formerly of Dominick's in West Hollywood.


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