Pizzeria Libretto Meatballs and Sauce_rsz

How to make Pizzeria Libretto’s famous meatballs at home

Executive chef Rocco Agostino shares his secret saucy recipe

This week, as many of us find ourselves cooking at home instead of dining out, we’re sharing recipes from some of Toronto’s top chefs and restaurants.

“This meatball recipe is my take on the recipe my mother used to make when I was growing up,” says executive chef Rocco Agostino, of Pizzeria Libretto. “It’s easy to make and slightly spicy with a smokey sweetness from the roasted red peppers.”

“Adding pasta to these tasty meatballs is an option, but enjoying them on their own and using a crostino (grilled bread) to wipe up the sauce on the plate is a great way to enjoy this recipe.”


Pizzeria Libretto’s meatball recipe

Serves 4- 6 people


  • 3 ¼ lb mix ground beef/ground pork/ground pork belly
  • ¾ cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup chives, chopped
  • ¼ cup oregano, chopped
  • ½ cup roasted red peppers, pureed
  • ½ cup Parmigiano cheese, finely grated
  • ½ Tbsp salt
  • ½ Tbsp black pepper


1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and make sure everything is mixed well
2. Use standard ice cream scoop to portion the meatballs
3. Roll the meatballs in the hand to help eve out the circular share
4. Place meatballs on a large sheet pan lined with parchment paper
5. Bake in the oven at 375 C for 15 min
6. Remove from oven and set aside



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Pizzeria Libretto (@pizzalibretto) on


Tomato Sauce


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ large onion, finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp garlic (2 cloves), finely chopped
  • 1 litre canned San Marzano tomato, pureed
  • ¼ cup basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup bomba (Italian spicy condiment at most grocery stores) or dried chili pepper to taste
  • ½ Tbsp salt
  • 6 slices of crostini from a baguette, index finger thick
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup Parmigiano cheese, coarsely grated


1. Add ¼ cup of olive oil to a large enough pot that the meatballs will fit
2. Sauté the onions over medium heat until translucent
3. Add chopped garlic and sauté for another minute
4. Add the tomate sauce and bring to a simmer for five minutes
5. Add the chopped basil, bomba, salt and simmer for another five minutes
6. Add meatballs and drippings left in the tray and simmer for another 15 minutes
7. While meatballs simmer, lightly brush crostini with olive oil and bake in a 375 C oven until light golden. Remove from oven and set aside
8. In a bowl, place 3 meatballs and pour a spoon of sauce over each meatball
9. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of the grated Parmigiano cheese over top and add one of the crostinos to each plate

And voila! You have Pizzeria Libretto-quality meatballs ready for tasting.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO