Lady and the Tramp

Tony’s Spaghetti Especiale

For the longest time, Lady and the Tramp was my favorite movie. There are so many good things about the film, but I really loved it because of the title characters, especially Lady. I loved the Tramp, but I completely adored Lady. I grew so attached to her, that I needed my own Cocker Spaniel. I got her and I guess what I named her? Princess Candy Cane. (Yeah, I have no idea what was going on in that pea brain of mine.) Princess wasn’t a thing like Lady, but I wasn’t at all like Jim Dear and Darling. I get the whole baby thing, but my dogs are my babies. At least they aren’t nearly as bad as Aunt Sarah. (Is it wrong that I wish bad things on her?) Okay, enough with the silly humans. I watch this movie for the doggies.

Lady is so sweet and innocent. And I love how caring all the dogs are, even when the humans aren’t. The Tramp can’t resist lending a helping paw by sharing his experience with Lady and later rescuing her. Sure, he was first interested because he’s got a weakness for pretty girls, but it doesn’t take him long to fall under the spell of true love. You can kind of blame that on Tony’s. Had the Tramp shared a meal with Lady at any one of his other stops, it wouldn’t have been nearly as romantic. (Imagine them sharing a big piece of corned beef.) But, Tony pulls out all the stops for “Butch” and we get the mega iconic “Bella Notte” spaghetti sequence. We’ve got the singing, and the spaghetti kiss, and the Tramp giving Lady the last meatball! It’s too much! I can’t take it! Plus, that plate of spaghetti looks so good! I know. Way to ruin the romantic moment by focusing more on the food, but I’ve thought it since the very first time I watched the movie. It’s about time I make a plate of my own.

Recipe makes 6-8 servings.


1 ½ pounds spaghetti noodles


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups beef broth

1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

½ cup onions, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pepper

2 teaspoons oregano

2 teaspoons parsley

2 teaspoons basil

2 teaspoons sugar



3 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork

4 slices white bread

½ cup milk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon basil

1 teaspoon parsley

1 teaspoon oregano

¼ cup onion, finely chopped

1 ½ cloves garlic, minced

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese




Add the oil to a large skillet or medium pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the beef stock and crushed tomatoes. Add salt, pepper, sugar, oregano, parsley, and basil. Allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato paste.


Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.

Tear the slices of bread into pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Pour milk over the bread and allow it to soak the bread through. Add the salt, pepper, basil, parsley, oregano, Parmesan, and eggs. Add the cooled onions and garlic and mix thoroughly. Add the meat and mix until just combined. Scoop out meat mixture the size of two tablespoons and place on a baking sheet. Form meatballs into rounds and chill for an hour to help the balls maintain their shapes while cooking.

Heat the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat the meatballs in flour and give them a quick browning on all sides, about 5 minutes. Finish cooking the meatballs in the sauce for 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Any meatballs that can’t fit in the pot will just need an additional 5-10 minutes in the skillet.

Spaghetti Noodles:

Bring a large pot full of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles have cooked through, 8 minutes. Drain.

Putting It All Together:

Lightly toss the hot noodles in the sauce. Place the noodles and meatballs on a plate. Enjoy!

ladyandthetramp (2)LadyTrampSpag

Who would’ve thought that, along with the rest of the world, I would fall in love with a couple of dogs eating a plate of spaghetti? It’s not a pretty sight in my house, but that’s Disney Magic for you. Thanks to a little bit of my own magic, I can enjoy Tony’s Spaghetti Especiale whenever I want, bella notte or not.


Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!


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