Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs

Beef Main Dishes Pasta

There is nothing better than the classic spaghetti and meatballs.  It is such a great dish, I make pretty often in our house.  The recipe for the meatballs is one that I have used for years and years.  I learned the recipe from my mom.  She never used a cookbook when she made this recipe, she knew it by heart.  One day I need to ask her where she originally got this recipe from and hopefully she can remember. Growing up I never remember my mom or grandmother cooking out of a cookbook, if they did it was rare.  They both always cooked from memory which always fascinated me.  Don’t get me wrong, I do have a few recipes I can cook without referring to a cookbook or remembering where I originally acquired the recipe, but that’s just one or two. I would watch both of them in the kitchen successfully prepare a full Thanksgiving meal without even a peak at a recipe.  AMAZING!

This meatball recipe always turns out great.  The good thing about this recipe is you can use whatever type of spaghetti or marinara sauce you prefer.  I chose to make one from my favorite Italian Chef, Giada De’Laurentis.  The marinara recipe does take some time to cook but it is so worth it!!  You must give this recipe a try!  You won’t regret it!


For the Meatballs:
1 lb. ground beef, preferably ground sirloin
1 lb. ground pork
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/3 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. garlic power
1/2 tsp. onion powder

For the Marinara Sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves


To prepare the marinara:
In large pot.  Heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent.  About 10 minutes.  Add the celery, carrots, salt and pepper.  Saute until the vegetables are soft.  About 10  minutes.  Add the tomatoes and bay leaves.  Simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour.  Remove and discard the bay leaves.  
To prepare the meatballs
While the marinara is simmering prepare the meatballs.  
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking pan with parchment paper.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, onions, garlic, eggs, parsley, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Gently mix all ingredients together (I use my hands for this job) until well combined.  Grab a golf ball size amount of the meat mixture and gently roll the meat into a ball shape.  Place the rolled ball on the baking sheet.  Continue rolling out the meatballs until all the meat mixture is used.  I normally get about 24 meatballs from this mixture.  You may get more or less depending on the size you make your meatballs.  Bake the meatballs for 25 to 30 minutes turning the pan half way through the cooking process.  Mean while, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.  Add a small handful of salt to the water (you always want to salt your pasta water to flavor the paste).  Add 1 lb. spaghetti noodles and stir to make sure all the pasta gets into the water.  Boil for 8 minutes or until the pasta is  al dente.  Drain the pasta in a strainer and return the pasta to the pot.  Add the marinara sauce and meatballs.  Mix until combined.  
Meatballs:  Me
Marinara Sauce: Giada De’Lautrntis

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