Opinion – Recipes from Marcão: On Father’s Day, pasta with meatballs pleases puppies and old men


Father’s Day is this Sunday (14), so I decree a break from the World Cup themed recipes.

In the celebration of Father’s Day, men are divided into “still” (they still have a father, they still don’t have children) and “already” (they already have children, they’ve already lost their father). I’m the “already already” type and, as I don’t see the point in visiting a cemetery, I celebrate the date with my children.

The greatest joy of a parent who loves to cook is making their children’s favorite dishes. As I cannot know the predilection of everyone’s children, I will talk about mine.

Angela, my oldest daughter, loved it when I made saffron risotto with filet in wine—this was in the early 2000s, when risotto was a very strong fad. It was the dish she asked me to cook for her 27th birthday last month.

Growing up, Angela became more and more adventurous on the palate, becoming my companion in exploring exotic cuisines. A few days before her birthday, she asked me to cook a cheese buldak — a Korean snack of chicken in a spicy sauce, au gratin with cheese.

The youngest Pedro is nine years old and already eats as much as I do. He’s taking more daring flights (he loves a Japanese curry), but he still prefers the classics for children’s palates. Pizza, hamburger and the next recipe: pasta with meatballs.

I think meatballs are a good bet to please almost any kid at the table.

These meatballs, by the way, I usually make while I prepare the hamburger. I go to the butcher’s, buy half a kilo of meat (beef chuck) and divide it into three parts. With two of them I mold hamburgers, and the rest become small pieces.

Meatballs are a great way to enjoy bread that has hardened and cheese that has dried out in the fridge. They will compose the dough and season the meat balls.

The traditional way to make meatballs is to fry them in oil. I don’t really like frying at home, it makes unnecessary mess. I’ve been preparing the roasted porpetas for a long time — before it was in the oven, now I have an air fryer that makes the job a lot easier.

I like to make the meatballs very small, about 1 cm in diameter, so we can eat them whole, in the same forkful of pasta. The smaller, the faster the preparation. And it’s important not to stack the balls when baking.

Once the meatballs are ready, you can (or not) cook them a little longer in tomato sauce and eat them with pasta, puree, rice, farofa or bread. I calculated the recipe for four servings, you can easily freeze whatever you’re not going to use right away.

Oh, and of course: if you’re one of the lucky ones (with kids or not) who still have the old man around, it’s okay to make this recipe for him. Happy Fathers Day!

Pedrão’s meatballs

Yield: 4 servings (to eat with pasta and sauce)

Difficulty: easy


1 French bread (50 g) stale

½ cup of milk (or as much as you need)

200 g of minced meat

1 egg

1 crushed garlic clove

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and black pepper to taste


1. Crumble the bread and moisten it with milk. Wait until the bread is completely soaked and turn it into a dough with your hands or a fork.

2. Add the other ingredients to the bread dough and mix well. Leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour (it’s easier to shape the meatballs with the cold dough).

3. Heat the oven or air fryer to 180°C. If you are going to do it in the oven, use a non-stick roast or grease a glass or aluminum dish with oil.

4. Make the balls as follows: take a small portion of the meat mass with tweezers formed by the index, middle and thumb fingers. Transfer to the palm of the other hand and, with the opposite palm, make circular movements until you obtain a sphere. Distribute the meatballs on the baking sheet or air fryer basket, without them touching each other.

5. Bake the balls for 15 minutes, turn and bake for another 10 minutes. Cook for another 5 minutes in the tomato sauce and eat with pasta.


Yield: 4 servings

Difficulty: easy


1 tablespoon of oil

4 sliced ​​garlic cloves

2 cans of peeled tomato


1 package (500 g) of pasta

Salt and pepper and Parmesan cheese to taste


  1. Heat the oil over low heat and fry the garlic until it starts to take color. Add the tomato and cook until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Boil the water with salt and cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
  3. Five minutes before draining the pasta, add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and heat them over medium heat. Drain the pasta, add it to the sauce, mix well and heat for another 2 minutes before serving with Parmesan cheese on the side.

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