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Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

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Spaghetti and meatballs is a quintessential Italian-American dish that combines tender meatballs with a rich tomato sauce, served over a bed of perfectly cooked spaghetti. Let’s dive into the details.


To create this classic dish, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1/2 pound of ground pork
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can (28 ounces) of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (14 ounces) of diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of tomato paste
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 pound of spaghetti
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish


Step 1: Prepare the Meat Mixture

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef and ground pork.
  • Add breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, minced garlic, milk, and the egg to the meat mixture.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Mix all the ingredients well.

Step 2: Shape the Meatballs

  • Take a portion of the meat mixture and roll it into a ball about the size of a golf ball.
  • Repeat this process until all the meat mixture is used, forming meatballs.

Step 3: Prepare the Tomato Sauce

  • Heat olive oil.
  • Add chopped onions.
  • Stir in the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste.
  • Season with sugar, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes (if using).
  • Let the sauce simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Making Meatballs

Step 4: Cook the Meatballs

  • Add the meatballs to the skillet and brown them on all sides.
  • Once browned, transfer the meatballs to the simmering tomato sauce.
  • Allow the meatballs to cook in the sauce for an additional 20-30 minutes, ensuring they are cooked through.
  • Cooking the Sauce

Step 5: Boiling Spaghetti

  • In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until it’s firm to the bite, known as ‘al dente.’
  • Drain the spaghetti and set it aside.
  • Assembling the Dish

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy

  • Take a plate and arrange a generous serving of cooked spaghetti on it.
  • Ladle the tomato sauce with meatballs over the spaghetti.
  • Serve hot and enjoy your homemade classic spaghetti and meatballs!


Q1: Can I use ground turkey instead of beef and pork?

A1: Absolutely! You have the option to use ground turkey as a leaner substitute. Just make sure to season it well to enhance the flavor.

Q2: Can I make the meatballs ahead of time?

A2: Yes, you can prepare the meatballs in advance and refrigerate them. This can save you time when making the dish.

Q3: What can I serve with spaghetti and meatballs?

A3: A simple side salad and garlic bread are excellent choices to complement this dish.


Classic spaghetti and meatballs is a timeless favorite that never goes out of style. With this easy-to-follow recipe, you can bring the flavors of Italy right into your home.

So, gather your ingredients, follow the steps, and treat yourself to a plate of deliciousness.

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