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Rao’s Remarkable Meatballs: A Recipe for Helping the Poor and the Vulnerable.

Rao’s Remarkable Meatballs: A Recipe for Helping the Poor and the Vulnerable.
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This is the shot of the famous entrance to RAO’s restaurant in East Harlem, New York. The legendary establishment has been operated by the Rao family for the past 110 years and has opened branches in Las Vegas.

Rao’s, the Iconic Italian Restaurant in East Harlem, is Working To Keep New York’s Partnership Schools Open and Thriving.

Partnership School Students

Fifteen years ago, Frank Pellegrino Sr. of Rao’s Restaurant helped save a nearby small elementary school in Harlem – Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary – from the brink of closure. He gathered his friends, family and the neighborhood in the basement of the school for a family dinner with his famous Rao’s Meatballs. That evening he raised enough money to help keep the school open. And he started a tradition. Today, the school is part of Partnership Schools – a thriving seven school network that provides students with the academic preparation, values and skills they need to break the cycle of poverty and lead fulfilling, productive lives. The big dinner tradition has become a lifeline for the community, but due to the COVID-19 health crisis, Partnership Schools and the Rao’s family cannot bring everyone together as they have for so many years. However, dinner will not be canceled. Instead, the event will take on a new shape to support the immediate needs of the families in the Partnership School network.

Help Others and You Can Help Yourself to Get One of the Most Coveted Reservations in all of New York.

Partnership Schools has committed to waiving all tuition and fees for the period of closure, paying all schools staff, and establishing an emergency fund to provide direct assistance to families across Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary School and each of its six other schools for those suffering from job loss, medical expenses, or unforeseen hardships due to the crisis.

To support these efforts this year, Rao’s Restaurant and Partnership Schools invite you to a family dinner of your own. Both ask if you could:

  1. Make a gift to Partnership Schools to help ​another ​family in need. ​
  2. Spend precious time with ​your ​loved ones and cook a family dinner together with your spin on a favorite dish using Rao’s homemade sauce.
  3. Share a video on social media with the hashtag #onebigRAOSfamily and invite another family to do the same.
  4. For completed donations up to $500, Rao’s will provide a Famous Meatball takeout dinner for two to 10 lucky supporters.
  5. For completed donations of more than $500, Rao’s will give one lucky supporter a one-night-only reservation for four at the iconic Rao’s restaurant in 2021!

But hurry because this offer ends in just days.

Partnership Schools Webpage: ​http://www.partnershipnyc.org/

Donation Link: https://www.onebigraosfamily.com/

Rao's Remarkable Meatballs

June 10, 2020
: 4-6
: 1 hr
: Easy

Rao's Homemade Marinara makes making these perfect Italian American Meatballs a whole lot easier, and we believe, more delicious than any homemade Marinara.


  • 2 -24 oz. jars of Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce
  • 1 pound ground lean beef
  • ½ pound ground veal
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 cups fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, lightly smashed
  • Step 1 Combine ground beef, veal, and pork in a large bowl. Add eggs, cheese, parsley, minced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Using your hands, blend ingredients together.
  • Step 2 Add the bread crumbs into the meat mixture and combine. Slowly add water until the mixture is quite moist.
  • Step 3 Shape the meat mixture into balls (2 1/2 to 3 inch balls).
  • Step 4 Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and saute the smashed garlic clove until lightly brown to flavor the oil, and remove with a slotted spoon and discard.
  • Step 5 Fry the meatballs in batches.
  • Step 6 When the bottom half of the meatball is very brown and slightly crisp, turn and cook the other half.
  • Step 7 Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.
  • Step 8 Lower cooked meatballs into simmering Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Step 9 Serve over pasta, in a sub, or on their own.

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