Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs – a classic comfort food and pretty much everyone’s favorite. This dish with delicious and hearty meatballs in a simple flavorful and tasty tomato sauce served over spaghetti.
Because meatballs are great, they’re versatile, and they’re great in and on everything. You can bake them, you can fry them, you can slow cook them, you can stuff them with cheese and make them all gooey and delicious, they’re great in sandwiches, spaghetti and meatballs, meatball casseroles, meatballs in soups, meatballs on pizza, I’d even put them on a salad, the sky is the limit.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
In the 8 years that I’ve been working on this blog, I just now realized that I don’t have a classic spaghetti and meatballs recipe, so here I am after all this time with probably the easiest and most popular meatball dish out there.
A classic but super comforting spaghetti and meatballs dish, and not with frozen meatballs, but homemade meatballs! Because this post is about meatballs, after all.
How to Make Meatballs
The meatball recipe is a pretty basic Italian meatball recipe loaded with herbs such as basil, oregano and parsley. They’re really easy to make too, you can use any ground meat your prefer. Traditionally they are made with beef, veal or pork, but it’s up to you what you use, really anything goes.
The sauce couldn’t get any simpler, we’re talking crushed tomatoes, some onion, garlic, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and basil. Let it simmer and that’s all that’s really required. Another way I like to make this sauce is to roast my own tomatoes and then run them through the food processor, you could do that too if you wanted to and you’d have that nice flavor of roasted tomatoes.
Serve these meatballs over spaghetti, drenched in this yummy sauce, and load on the Parmesan cheese. So good, and such a comforting dinner. It truly is everyone’s favorite.
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Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 3 slices white bread
- ½ cup milk
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped
- 1 tbsp oregano dried or fresh
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Break the bread slices into pieces and place in a large bowl. Pour the milk over them and let the bread soak for about 10 minutes.
- To the same bowl add the remaining meatball ingredients. Mix well using your clean hands. Shape the meatball mixture into balls around the size of a golf ball.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the meatballs and saute until brown and cooked through. Turn them often so they hold their shape. You might also need to do this in a couple batches, depends on how big or small your meatballs are and the size of your skillet. It should take about 10 to 15 minutes per batch.
- Transfer the meatballs to a plate and set aside. If there’s too much oil in your skillet, drain some of it out. You need about 1 tbsp of fat remaining in skillet.
- Add the onion and garlic to the skillet and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes until onion is soft and becomes translucent. Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth and scrape all the brown bits from the meatballs, this will add flavor to the sauce. Add the crushed tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and basil springs. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the skillet with a lid and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should reduce a bit.
- While the sauce is simmering cook the spaghetti according to package instructions. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.
- If your sauce is too thick, add some of the pasta water to thin it out a bit until desired consistency is achieved.
- Place pasta in a large bowl and add about 1 to 2 cups of the sauce to the pasta and toss well. Add the meatballs to the remaining sauce in the skillet and toss. Serve the meatballs over spaghetti, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and garnished with parsley or basil.
- Before making your meatballs, you can place the meatball mixture in the fridge for 1 hour to up to a day. This will help the meatballs hold their shape while cooking. Since I baked these, I wasn’t afraid of them losing shape, but if you choose to fry them instead, you might want to refrigerate the meat first for about an hour.
- Alternatively you can bake the meatballs at 400 F degrees for about 30 minutes until golden brown.
- If you feel like the amount this recipe yields is too much, you can hover your cursor over the number of servings in the recipe card. A slider will appear, and you can change the number of servings. The recipe will change accordingly.