• 500 grams (1.1 pounds of mezzi zitis)
  • 500 grams (1.1 pounds) of ground beef
  • 500 grams (1.1 pounds) of drained and shredded mozzarella
  • 600 grams (1.3 pounds) of beef stew (with the bone), and a thick slice of bacon (cut into small pieces), one liter (5 cups of tomato sauce (preferably homemade), about
  • 0,200 liters (one cup) of extravirgin olive oil (use half for frying the meatballs and half for the tomato sauce), 2 eggs and grated parmesan cheese (as much as desired), bread crumbs (about 2 tablespoons)
  • a small onion, basil, parsley, and salt (as much as desired)


Blend the ground beef, grated cheese, bread crumbs, eggs, a pinch of salt and finely chopped parsley and form little meatballs. Fry in a pan with about ½ inch of oil.

In a large clay pot, sauté chopped onion and basil in some oil. Add the beef stew and bacon, and brown it. Then add the tomato sauce. Let it cook for about 2 hours.

Boil the pasta (half cooked; it should still be firm). Drain and add a little bit of sauce. In a large, clay baking pan, put in a layer of pasta, grated cheese, meatballs and shredded mozzarella and pour two ladles of ragù sauce over it. Continue layering the pasta and repeat the process as done with the first layer. Finish off with covering all the layers with the ragù sauce.

Bake at 190°/200° (375°F) for about ½ hour.

With all these calories, this is certainly a full-course meal!!! It is best prepared a day before for occasions such as picnics or during holiday outings.

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