Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spaghetti & Meatballs + Homemade Sauce Recipe

Ironically, spaghetti and meatballs doesn't even exist in Italy. It's something we Americans put together and called Italian. But for someone like me who likes a little bit of meat and a LOT of pasta, and who is married to someone who likes a LOT of meat and a lot of pasta- this dish works perfectly.

Today's recipe is really for a new version of a homemade sauce that I made, but I figured I would show you some tricks for meatballs and cooking spaghetti while I'm at it. ;)

Making your own sauce is really not that hard, so don't let the number of ingredients intimidate you. This recipe is a spin off of another marinara recipe that I have shared on here before. But this recipe requires less simmering and cooks less than half the amount of sauce, so it's perfect for a weeknight family meal. Also, although I've never tried it, I imagine this sauce would cook perfectly fine in a crock pot all day if you don't have time to simmer it when you get home. The longer is cooks, the better the flavor!

*A quick note on the meatballs- I have made my own meatballs before, but it is a labor of love that involves lots of mashing of raw meat between your fingers. For someone who does not love meat, buying these delicious, pre-mashed and prepared meatballs from Publix is a beautiful alternative. They really are SO good! 

1 lb. spaghetti
1 package, ready to cook meatballs from Publix
4T Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 T dried oregano
1 T dried basil
1 T salt
1/3 c. brown sugar
2- 28 oz. cans San Marzano whole plum tomatoes- I use these from Costco
1- 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
1/4 tsp. baking soda
generous amounts of freshly grated parmesan, of course ;)

Sauté onions in 3T of EVOO. Add garlic AFTER onions are sautéed. Add all ingredients except baking soda to onions and bring to a boil. Add baking soda after sauce comes to a boil. Simmer for 1-2 hours before serving. 

While sauce is simmering, heat remaining EVOO in saute pan. Once oil is heated, add meatballs and simmer until golden brown and cooked through, usually about 7 minutes on each side- but rotate often to make sure they don't burn. Pat cooked meatballs dry with a paper towel to degrease them and add them to the sauce.

While sauce and meatballs are cooking, boil water in a flat, large saute pan. You can use a large pot, but the flat pan requires less water, boils faster, and fits the noodles perfectly- no breaking or pressing with a fork to get them under the water. Once the water boils, add salt and spaghetti and cook to al dente. Drain cooked spaghetti and serve with sauce, meatballs, and generous amounts of parmesan cheese. :) If your spaghetti needs to sit before serving, return it to the pan with a little olive oil or sauce to keep the noodles from sticking together.



  1. Raleigh is getting its first Publix soon and these meatballs are now going to be first on my grocery list! Mine never, ever, everrrr come out right homemade and those look super snazzy.

    I've always wanted to develop a homemade spaghetti sauce, but I've been a little lazy and uninspired. I might try this one!

  2. This looks and sounds fantastic! Now I'm craving pasta and 11:45 at night :)