The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs

By Erika on November 17th, 2013 / / 10 Comments

The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs | The Hopeless Housewife®

I am going back to the classics. Great stuff you will make on family dinner night, or maybe you will just make for your boyfriend (or girlfriend). We all know the saying the way to man’s heart is through his stomach and I think they were talking about spaghetti and meatballs when “they” said that. Really, I do. I made pasta for my husband while we were dating and we ended up married. True story. I am laughing as I write this because I am in a silly mood but I really did make him pasta and he loved it! He is very cute but that is an entirely different story I will have to tell you about sometime.

Okay, onwards! We have all heard about someone’s spaghetti and meatball recipe being THE BEST and then we try it an it doesn’t quite measure up. This one measures up- it’s the best spaghetti and meatball recipe, really!

Who  doesn’t love a big plate of spaghetti and meatballs? I remember as a kid going to the Old Spaghetti Factory and getting a big piping hot plate of  cheesy spaghetti, meatballs and garlic bread, it was always a memorable night (I am still talking about it, aren’t I?)

This is the perfect Sunday night dinner and so easy to make. The meatballs are tender and flavorful, the sauce is thick and rich…yum, yum and YUM!! Make this ASAP.

The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs 9 | The Hopeless Housewife®

So easy…just mash all this together….

The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs 2 | The Hopeless Housewife®

..and form into these cute balls!

The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs 3 | The Hopelesss Housewife®

Cook these little guys up in batches…

The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs 11 | The Hopeless Housewife®

The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs 6 | The Hopeless Housewife®

Then add to the simple sauce….look at my bubbly saucy mess- I love it.

The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs 5 | The Hopeless Housewife®

The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs 8 | The Hopeless Housewife®

The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs 10 | The Hopeless Housewife®

Yield: 4-6 servings

The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs

The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs


For the Meatballs:

  • 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 1/2 pound veal (you may also use 3/4 pound of ground beef and pork and no veal)
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed then minced
  • ¾ cups fresh white bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

For the Sauce:

  • 1 whole yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed then minced
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 28oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • 4 whole fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked
  • 1/2 grated parmesan for topping


  1. Start meatballs. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl except oil. Mix together well by hand. Roll into 18 1-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add meatballs being careful not to crowd the pan.Brown meatball on each side then remove to drain on paper towels while you work on the next batch. Repeat until meatballs are all cooked.
  3. Start sauce. In the same pot, lower the heat to medium and add the onions until almost translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 3 minutes (be careful not to burn the garlic!). Add tomato paste and cook until it turns dark, about 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes wine, sugar, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and parsley. Stir well and bring to a bubble. Cook, uncovered until sauce thickens a bit, about 15-20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and sugar.
  4. Add basil to reduced sauce and stir well. Add meatballs and cook another 20 minutes, being careful not to smash the meatballs when stirring.
  5. Serve with cooked spaghetti and parmesan cheese.

show comments 10 responses

  • Teresa Wilson says:

    Wow! I am going to make this for dinner tonight. Do leftover meatballs/sauce freeze well?
    Thank you for this recipe. (I just started following.)

  • jennifer says:

    Stupid question. I have never cooked with red wine and not much of a drinker. I have always wanted to try a recipe with red wine and a lot of them call for it, so I know it must be delicious. What kind of red wine do you cook with? I have no idea what to get at the liquor store. Help please!

  • Kay says:

    Hi, can kids eat this dish as well since it does have wine in it?

    • Erika Erika says:

      Hi Karina, not all of the alcohol cooks off, about 75-85% cooks off I believe…in a recipe with this much liquid that is not very much at all that is left…however, you can always use alcohol-free wine for the flavor. There is one called “Fre”, I would use that if you are worried about it. Let me know how it turns out!

  • Myranda says:

    I LOVE this sauce!!! The meatballs are delicious and easy and the flavor and depth of the sauce is spectacular! I could eat this every day… My new favorite and go-to recipe for spaghetti!!

  • Ava says:

    I am kosher and don’t eat pork. Would lamb work as a substitute?

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