Nothing says comfort food to me more than a plate of the Italian Classic, Spaghetti and Meatballs. I never get tired of this delicious dish and making a batch of sauce and meatballs ahead of time is a great way to make sure you have dinner in the freezer whenever you need it.
One of the great joys of life is eating what we want when we want it. And worrying about the consequences shouldn’t be in the decision-making process.
My wife and I both love good Italian food and something as basic as Spaghetti and Meatballs is one of our favorites. But every now and then I get heartburn (agita as we say in Italiano) from the acid in the tomato sauce. I have found that using tomatoes from the San Marzano region of Italy are less acidic and don’t cause the number of problems that other tomatoes do.
How to Make Spaghetti and Meatballs
One dish that should be in everyone’s repertoire is spaghetti and meatballs. And even if you don’t like meatballs (gasp) you can still learn to make homemade tomato sauce using my easy to make recipe.
Tomato Sauce Mise en Place
Let’s start by gathering our ingredients for our tomato sauce. There are just a few ingredients and whether you want to make a quick marinara or a rich simmered tomato sauce the ingredients stay the same.
*Chef Dennis Cooking Tip*
Buy a basil plant at your local grocery store. That way you can pick the leaves as you need and they won’t wilt in your refrigerator waiting to be used or thrown out.
Italian Meatball Mise en Place
The ingredients for making Italian meatballs are pretty basic. I used an equal combination of pork and beef, but you can always substitute ground turkey or chicken if you like. I also suggest using bread instead of breadcrumbs to make your meatballs.
Place all your ingredients into a mixing bowl.
After combining all the ingredients, cover the bowl with plastic and place in the refrigerator for one hour.
*Chef Dennis Cooking Tip*
Do not over mix the meatball mixture. If you do your meatballs will be tough.
Roll your meatballs out, closing up the gaps making the outside of the meatball as smooth as possible.
Getting a crust on the outside of the meatball is your goal. This means leaving it alone for 1-2 minutes, letting it get nicely browned. Slip a spatula underneath each meatball to loosen them, then turn them to another side to brown. Try to get 3-4 turns per meatball, and be careful not to break them up!
Once they browned, gently place the meatballs into your pot of tomato sauce to finish cooking (at least one hour).
Then all that’s left to do is cook your pasta and serve up this delicious classic Italian dish!
If you love pasta dishes you might also like these:
- Pasta alla Caponata
- Classic Fettuccine Alfredo
- Lobster fra Diavolo Bianco
- Spaghetti Fresca with Crabmeat
Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 1 cup stale Italian bread
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 small onion
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 bunch Italian parsley chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
- 2 cloves fresh garlic chopped
- 56 ounces Crushed Tomato San Marzano
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- 1/2 onion finely diced
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 pounds spaghetti I used De Cecco
- Soak bread in milk in a small bowl for 20 minutes.
- Mix beef and pork together in a large bowl. Stir onions, bread mixture, eggs, parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper,dried basil, and Romano cheese into meat mixture with a rubber spatula until combined. Cover and refrigerate for about one hour.
- Using wet hands, form meat mixture into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
- Heat about 1/4-inch of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry the meatballs until they are browned on all sides and cooked through, about 15 minutes.
- In a large skillet or small sauce pot, sauté diced onion and chopped garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent, do not allow them to burn!
- Add crushed tomatoes, rinse cans with just a little water and add to the sauce (if crushed tomatoes are not available use whole tomatoes and crush by hand or with an immersion blender).
- add chopped basil, sugar, sea salt and black pepper to taste (don’t over season you can always add more later).
- After your sauce has reached a boil, reduce the heat to low, a simmer for 15-20 minutes for classical Marinara / simmer for 1-3 hours for a rich hearty Tomato Sauce.
- Cook pasta. Follow instructions on box.**Unless you have a large enough pot to cook both pounds at once cook them 1 pound at a time.