Classic Spaghetti & Meatballs

Classic Spaghetti & Meatballs….I couldn’t actually call myself a food blogger if I didn’t have this recipe on my blog, right?  After trying many recipes and variations over the years, I have landed on this as the best combination of a few of my favorites.  Honestly, Spaghetti & Meatballs is kind of a classic that you don’t really want to mess with.

There are certain components that just need to be included to make this dish a belly-patting success.  It doesn’t need to be de-constructed, it doesn’t need to be unrecognizable, it just needs to be itself.  Why make things more difficult than they need to be?  This recipe was inspired by Tyler Florence and Ina Garten.  Let’s face it, they both make great tasting food that people want to eat…especially me!  This is Classic Spaghetti & Meatballs a la Tyler Florence, with a hint of Ina and a few finishing touches of my own.  Easy enough to make on a weeknight and elevated enough to serve for company over the weekend.

I love the combination of meats for the meatballs, the slight crunch from pan frying them and then the amazing flavors of finishing them in the sauce.  If you want a lighter version, you can also bake them on a lined baking sheet at 400F for about 20 minutes.  This recipe makes about two-dozen meatballs.  Unless you’re serving a large group, you can use what you need the night of and freeze the rest for a quick weeknight reheat meal.  To me, the homemade marinara sauce makes all the difference in elevating this dish.  It is really so simple to make and once you make it and taste the difference, it’s hard to go back to store bought.  Although, of course you could, in a pinch.  I hope you enjoy this Classic Spaghetti & Meatballs!  Grab a glass of Sangiovese, Barbera or Nebbiolo….Salute!

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Classic Spaghetti & Meatballs
Classic Spaghetti & Meatballs....I couldn't actually call myself a food blogger if I didn't have this recipe on my blog, right? After trying many recipes and variations over the years, I have landed on this as the best combination of a few of my favorites. Honestly, Spaghetti & Meatballs is kind of a classic that you don't really mess with.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Start with the meatballs. Add 3 Tablespoons EVOO to a large skillet over medium heat. Add half of the chopped onion, half of the minced garlic cloves and 2 Tablespoons of parsley. Cook for about 10 minutes to soften. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Remove crust from bread slices, chop up bread and soak in milk for about 10 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine both meats, egg, parmesan, panko bread crumbs, salt, pepper and onion mixture. Combine with your hands until everything is incorporated. Shape each meatball into the size of a golf ball and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Using the same pan from the onion mixture, add more EVOO and heat to medium heat. You want the meatballs to brown, but not to burn. Working in batches, fry meatballs, turning until browned on all sides. Place finished ones on another baking sheet lined with paper towels.
  5. Once meatballs are done, use the same pan to make the sauce. Deglaze the pan with red wine, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining 1/2 chopped onion, remaining 1/2 minced garlic and 28 oz. cans of whole peeled tomatoes and their juices. Squeeze them very carefully as you add them, it is a very messy job! My family likes it extra "saucy" so I also add another can of 28 oz. crushed tomatoes to it. Add in the remaining 2 Tablespoons of parsley, the basil and 1 teaspoon sugar. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Start a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil for the pasta.
  7. Simmer sauce for about 30 minutes. Nestle the meatballs back into the sauce to finish cooking them, rotating about halfway through.
  8. Cook the pasta according to package directions, or 1-2 minutes less. Serve with sauce, meatballs, grated parmesan and fresh basil!
Recipe Notes

Another option to lighten up the dish is to use Gluten Free pasta.  We love the Barilla Gluten Free pasta and most time, no one can tell the difference!

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