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Best Spaghetti and Meatballs

One evening we had unexpected company. Since I had some of these meatballs left over in the freezer, I warmed them up as appetizers. Everyone raved! This classic recipe makes a big batch and is perfect for entertaining. —Mary Lou Koskella, Prescott, Arizona
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Cook: 2 hours
  • Makes
    16 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (12 ounces each) tomato paste
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 can (29 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • MEATBALLS:
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups soft bread cubes (cut into 1/4-inch pieces)
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 pounds spaghetti, cooked

Directions

  • In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions; saute until softened. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in tomato paste; cook 3-5 minutes. Add next 6 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 50 minutes.
  • Combine the first 7 meatball ingredients. Add beef; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls.
  • In a large skillet, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add meatballs; brown in batches until no longer pink. Drain. Add to sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until flavors are blended, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serve with hot cooked spaghetti.

Test Kitchen Tip
  • Instead of frying, you can bake the meatballs at 400° on a rack over a rimmed baking sheet until golden brown. It will take about 20 minutes or so.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1/2 cup sauce with 4 meatballs and 1-1/4 cups spaghetti: 519 calories, 18g fat (6g saturated fat), 106mg cholesterol, 1043mg sodium, 59g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 4g fiber), 30g protein.

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