You Gotta Love Spaghetti and Meatballs

Total Time:
2 hr
40 min
1 hr 20 min

32 meatballs, or 6 to 8 servings

  • 10 cups Best Basic Red Sauce, recipe follows, or store-bought pasta sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baby Bam seasoning, recipe follows
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For the Spaghetti:
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Place the Basic Red Sauce in a large pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Place all the remaining meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir well with a wooden spoon to combine. Wash your hands then form the meat into balls by rolling 1 tablespoon of meat between them. Place meatballs on a plate as they are formed. (Hint: if your hands are slightly damp, the meatballs will roll more easily and will not stick to your hands!) When all the meatballs are formed, wash your hands again and then gently place the balls into the sauce 1 at a time using a long handled spoon. Be careful – bubbling sauce splatters! Simmer the sauce uncovered, and allow the meatballs to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes before stirring. Stir the meatballs into the sauce when they rise to the top.

  • Simmer for an additional 20 minutes, and stir occasionally to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

  • Remove from the heat, and serve immediately over cooked spaghetti.

  • For the Spaghetti: Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the salt, olive oil and spaghetti. Reduce the heat to medium and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the spaghetti from sticking together. Drain the spaghetti in a colander set in a sink, pouring away from you. Toss in the pot with the sauce and meatballs and serve immediately.

Best Basic Red Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions (1 medium yellow onion)

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (2 cloves garlic)

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • Heat the olive oil in a 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, salt, basil, oregano and black pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Place the tomatoes in a large bowl and squeeze to break into small pieces. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, and sugar to the pot with the onions, and stir well. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally with a long-handled wooden spoon.

  • Remove from the heat, and use as needed. You can store this sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.

  • Yield: 10 cups, 2 1/2 quarts

  • Baby Bam Seasoning:

  • 3 tablespoons paprika

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley

  • 2 teaspoons onion powder

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt

  • Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well to combine with a wooden spoon. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

  • Yield: about 3/4 cup

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