Italian Sleuth Finds Evidence of Spaghetti & Meatballs in 1700s Painting

Food writers say spaghetti and meatballs were invented by Italian immigrants in the U.S. ISDA contributor Dina Di Maio begs to differ in this lighthearted investigative piece.

By: Dina Di Maio, ISDA Contributor

Magnasco and the Meatball Mystery

Could a painting hanging on the wall of the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) hold the key to a culinary mystery? One of the most popular comfort foods in the world is spaghetti and meatballs. If you read food blogs, you may have heard that this dish did not originate on Italian soil. Many celebrity chefs, Italian-American chefs, and food writers claim that it was invented by Italian immigrants in the United States. These sources say the immigrants tried to re-create dishes from home and, finding an abundance of ground beef here, made gargantuan meatballs to top their pasta.

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