Spaghetti and Meatballs

I think sometimes it may appear from my blog that all I eat is sweets, but that is definitely not the case.  I try to post a wide variety of recipes, both sweet and savory.  Even though dessert is my favorite part of the day, we all need more well-rounded meals to eat before that time comes.  Homemade spaghetti and meatballs is a classic recipe that should be a part of everyone’s repertoire, so I decided it was time to post my favorite version.  This recipe makes a large quantity of both meatballs and sauce so it can be used for multiple meals.  We made meatball subs with the leftovers one night (AWESOME!), and then ate the remaining marinara sauce over pasta a couple weeks later.  I haven’t tried it myself, but I think this would freeze well and would be a nice meal to thaw out at a moment’s notice.  

Spaghetti and Meatballs
For the sauce:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz.) can tomato puree
1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup of water (or more) 

For the meatballs:
1/2 cup bread crumbs, divided
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 lb. ground beef, pork and veal mixture (or 1 lb. ground sirloin)

For serving:
Freshly cooked spaghetti
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Minced fresh basil

To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion to the pot and saute until tender, 5-8 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, stirring, about 1 minute.  Add the tomato puree, tomato sauce, parsley, basil, oregano, salt and sugar.  Add water to thin the sauce out to your desired consistency (I would estimate that I add about 1/2 cup).  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.  Let simmer for at least 2 hours. 

To make the meatballs, in a medium mixing bowl combine 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs with the milk.  Let the bread crumbs soak for 10 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix thoroughly.  Form the mixture into meatballs (I usually get about 20-25 out of one batch).  Add the meatballs to the simmering sauce about 45 minutes before the sauce will be finished cooking.  Cover and let simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, 35-45 minutes.  

Transfer freshly cooked pasta to serving dishes.  Top each serving with sauce and meatballs.  Garnish with shredded Parmesan and fresh basil, if desired.  

Source: adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

22 Responses

  1. Haha same here – by the looks of MY blog, people probably think that all I eat are batches of blondies 😀

    Lovely pasta dish!!

  2. Mmmm! What a delicious meal and beautiful picture!

  3. Now you have me craving a meatball sub! 🙂 The meatballs look great!

  4. Spaghetti and Meatballs is one of those meals that will always make me happy. I haven’t made it for ages and I think it’s about time I did.

  5. I don’t think that could be a more perfect photo of spaghetti and meatballs! Looks amaizing

  6. This looks great, Annie. I completely agree–all good cooks should be able to pull off a fabulous spaghetti and meatball dinner. Your recipe (thanks Chelle!) looks like a great one for me to try!

  7. Everyone must have a tried and true spaghetti & meatballs recipe and yours looks fantastic!

  8. Looks delicious – spaghetti and meatballs is such a great comfort food dish!

  9. Annie, I just have to tell you how much I appreciate your blog–your tested and true recipes, the gorgeous pictures, and the fact that you are keeping up with this despite your family and your demanding career. I am learning much from you. I have been a faithful follower for about 2 months now and have tried many of your recipes–perfect pizza crust, oatmeal raisin cookies, and more–and I have quite a list of others that I want to try.

    In sum…thank you.

  10. Your spaghetti and meatballs looks amazing! I might have to give this recipe a try.

  11. I’m glad you guys enjoyed this sauce and meatballs, I just love them! And yes, both freeze really well.

  12. made them– so simple but the best recipe i’ve had!

  13. I tried this recipe last night and it was amazing! And, per your suggestion, we’re going to use the leftovers for meatball subs.

    Thanks for all the great recipes — I love your blog!

  14. I have never made spaghetti and meatballs from scratch before and I’m not a huge fan of red sauce, but I LOVED this! I also liked how you don’t cook the meatballs first, you just drop them in the sauce. I added canned diced tomatoes to the recipe for some chucks and fresh portabella mushrooms. Next time, I may put the meatballs in from the beginning and cook it all in the crock pot. The meatballs were really good too, but next time I’ll make them with less cheese in them. My husband and I ate this for like a week straight and we are already craving it again.

    Thank you so much for inspiring me to make something I otherwise would not have!

  15. these look amazing what a perfect picture!! xx

  16. Made this tonight, but into meatball subs. My husband LOVED them. I just took some meatballs in sauce with extra cheese on top and put it under the broiler. Will be my go to recipe from now on…no more bottled spaghetti sauce.

    • Hi Kim,
      Yes, we love to make meatball subs with these! Just did it a couple weeks ago, and I agree, the broiler makes them just right. Glad you all enjoyed!
      🙂 Annie

  17. I made this last night and we loved it. It tasted just like one of our favorite resturants. My husband was actually exceited to take leftovers to work. Yesterday was the first time, I had visited your site and I love it. Thanks for getting me excited about cooking. I going to try making the Red Velvet Whoopie Pies today.

  18. I stumbled upon your blog, from the blog ” The Girl who eats everything” I made these meatballs last night! They were delicious as well as the sauce, my husband loved them so thanks for sharing! I have also printed off a bunch of your other recipes!

  19. this is one of my favorite sauces. last night i made a double batch…i froze one half for ourselves and froze the other half to give away as a “new baby meal.”
    i talked with a friend who is from italy and he said that his mom (i mean, she’s an italian mom, she’s the gold standard) always browns the meatballs before she adds them to the sauce. so, of course, that’s what i now do too.

  20. My family LOVED this recipe! Thanks!

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