Angelo DePonti, above and below, oversees the cooking for the Fair Haven Fire Department’s annual spaghetti dinner, scheduled for Saturday night. (Photos by Joe Fisher. Click to enlarge)


There’s a special ingredient the Fair Haven Fire Department rolls out to ensure success at its annual spaghetti dinner fund raiser. It’s not in the meat. It’s not in the sauce. And it’s not in the bread.

It is Angelo DePonti – and his way with meatballs.

“I learned to make meatballs from my mother and father,” said DePonti, 83, a lifelong Red Bank resident. “As a kid, I used to watch them cook every Sunday. I was born to cook. I love to watch people eat my food. I haven’t got a recipe for my meatballs, I just know how much to put in… by the smell, by the feel”

DePonti, a retired Garden State Parkway maintenance worker, is a social member of the Fair Haven Fire Department. For the past 60 years, he’s also volunteered with Red Bank’s Union Hose Company where his son, Steve, and his two grandchildren, Steve Jr. and Matt, also serve.

In preparation for this year’s spaghetti dinner, scheduled for Saturday, DePonti was in the Fair Haven firehouse kitchen Thursday night preparing the meatballs with a crew of helpers.

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