Spaghetti and Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Total Time:
1 hr 30 min
30 min
1 hr

4 servings

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed with some kosher salt to make a paste
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans plum tomatoes and their juices, pureed in a blender
  • 1 (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small bunch Italian parsley
  • 1 Cubano chile pepper, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 recipe Meatballs, recipe follows
  • 1 recipe Spaghetti, recipe follows
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Meatballs:
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped and sauteed
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 cup pure olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Spaghetti:
  • 12 cups water
  • Salt
  • 1 pound #8 or #9 spaghetti
  • Freshly grated Parmesan

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add pureed tomatoes with their juices, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 cup water, bay leaf, parsley, Cubano pepper, and bring to a boil. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Add meatballs and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and meatballs are tender. Remove the bay leaf.

Add enough sauce to the drained pasta (that has been returned to the pot) to coat and continue cooking briefly, just until pasta is well combined with sauce. Serve pasta with meatballs on top and garnished with fresh basil.


Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl, except olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roll the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls. Heat the oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, fry meatballs, in batches as needed, until golden brown, but not cooked through completely. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.


Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add spaghetti and cook until al dente. Drain well in a colander, return to pot, and toss with sauce. Serve with meatballs and Parmesan on top.

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4.6 78
My family loved the recipes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
this is really good. I did modify it a little, not much, by adding red pepper flakes just before the onions were soft and Italian spices (about 12 shakes when I put in all the tomatoes. overall, the outcome was great. I also only used ground beef for the meatballs because that was all I had. I also added some fresh basil from my garden to the meatballs themselves and it came out great. thanks Bobby for the great recipes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have been using this recipe for years. Had to find it again so I could reprint because I had used it so much. This makes a great meatloaf as well!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've been making these meatballs for years and they are always a hit! First time baking them and it made the recipe that much more simpler! Thanks urlucky2 for the tip! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I only made the meatballs and they were fabulous. I didn't want fried, so I baked them at 400 for 11 minutes. I will definitely make them again item not reviewed by moderator and published
These were good - but nothing I''m going to make again. Following the directions without any changes, no one complained about supper but neither was there much raving going on. If your goal is a nice simple tomato sauce that is better than the stuff in a jar and a tender meatball, this is the recipe for you. If you are looking for lots of flavor and wow factor, keep searching. On the plus side, this was extremely simple to make and made the house smell good. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is delicious. My family said it was the best spaghetti and meatballs they ever ate. They thought it was much better than any restaurant. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very easy and tasty, took longer then expected, but worth it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very Good. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Cubanelle Peppers are a variety of peppers that are also known as Italian Frying Peppers, they are long, thin, light green and curl at the ends. My Sicilian Mother in Law stuffs them, they are mild yet very tasty and are not as green tasting as regular green peppers. They are a perfect touch to any italian recipe. I live in a very Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY and use these peppers often. Cubanelle is just the variety name. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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Spaghetti and Meatballs

Recipe courtesy of Ted Allen