When it comes to creating a classic home cooked meal, Spaghetti and Meatballs tops the list. It has taken me years to perfect this meatball recipe. I have had some epic fails, a few near misses, and finally my family is giving me an A+ grade.
Using fresh ingredients from the garden and freshly ground beef from our local butcher makes this recipe simple and hearty. If you don’t have access to fresh herbs, dried work just as well if not better.
Portion each meatball using a cookie/ice cream scoop for easy measuring or weigh each meatball to be 2.5 oz because the last thing you want is an undercooked meatball. Like cookies, same size means even cooking and that is important.
Remember to have fun while preparing this meal as that is most important part of any great dish; the company and the journey to prepare it.
Classic Spaghetti and MeatballsPrint This
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 slice of thick fresh white bread
- 1/3 cup of milk
- 2 tbsp freshly minced onion
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley (1 tbsp dried)
- 1 egg
- 4 tbsp grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme (1 tsp dried)
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano (1 tsp dried)
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1 cup fresh diced tomatoes (or canned)
- 2 cups fresh homemade pasta sauce ( or your favourite store bought)
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- dried spaghetti noodles (enough for 4 servings)
- 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
- fresh basil
- olive oil
- fresh ground pepper
- dried red chilli flakes
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Take a large cookie sheet, line with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small sauce pan add the milk and the bread. Heat on medium and stir to “mush” the bread into almost a goopy paste. Once paste is made (1 minute) set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the ground beef, parsley, onion, egg, garlic, oregano, thyme, bread paste, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together without “squeezing”. Just turn and press until everything has been blending together and is evenly distributed.
- Place your bread crumbs on a plate. Using an ice cream scoop, portion out the meatballs. One at a time form each meatball into a ball, and then roll in the bread crumbs. Place on the cookie sheet. Continue doing this until all meat has been used.
- Place the meatballs in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then turn the pan around and bake for 15 more minutes.
- Remove from oven and set aside in a casserole dish. (here is when you would only take out as many as you are eating tonight, set the rest aside to freeze for later)
- Combine your tomatoes, tomato sauce, vinegar, and brown sugar.
- Pour over the meatballs in the casserole dish until meatballs are covered evenly.
- Bake uncovered for 20 minutes in the oven until bubbly.
- While meatballs are in the oven make your pasta noodles according to package directions. Remember to salt the water heavily and do not rinse after draining.
- Add the butter and parsley to the drained noodles and toss.
- Remove the meatballs from the oven.
- Scoop up the sauce (leave the meatballs for right now) and add it to the spaghetti noodles. About 1 cup max. Toss.
- Portion out the noodles in each serving dish.
- Top the pasta with the meatballs by scooping them out one at a time and stacking. About 5 per serving.
- Drizzle with a tsp of olive oil over each serving.
- Grind of fresh pepper over each serving.
- Sprinkle of 1/4 tsp chilli flakes over each serving (optional)
- Finish with a sprinkle of fresh basil and serve.
Double the batch because you can freeze these meatballs in a freezer ziplock bag without the sauce, the sauce in a freezer bag as well, for up to 3 months. Just take them out, pop them in the oven or slow cooker with the sauce and heat up till bubbling. Serve. Easy meal solution for busy days.