Best Ever Spaghetti and Meatballs

We have this a lot! We love it. It’s even better the next day, assuming the pasta was al dente to begin with. I only use pork and beef and all the rest I do exactly the same as this recipe. I never liked Spaghetti and Meatballs until I made this. This is nothing like what I had thought of spaghetti. This s from an old issue of Fine Cooking, link at the bottom.

Spaghetti & Meatballs
by Frank Pellegrino

Frank’s Marinara Sauce

3 28-oz. cans Italian plum tomatoes, whole or crushed (I like San Marzano)
1/2 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
1 Tbs. kosher salt; more as needed
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. dried oregano






If you’re using whole tomatoes, put them in a large bowl and crush them with your hands. Discard any cores.

In a 7-quart or larger saucepot, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until lightly golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 min. to 1 hour; the sauce will reduce and thicken slightly but shouldn’t get too thick. Stir in the basil, pepper, and oregano. Taste and add more salt as needed. Proceed with the spaghetti and meatballs recipe, or let cool and refrigerate for up to four days.

From Fine Cooking 71, pp. 51
April 1, 2005

Spaghetti and Meatballs

If you can’t buy the ground meats individually, use 1-1/2 lb. of meatloaf mix, which is often available in supermarkets.
Serves four to six.
Yields twelve beautiful meatballs.

1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. ground veal
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced, plus 1 clove garlic, lightly smashed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup finely grated imported Locatelli Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano (or half and half); more for serving
1-1/2 cups plain dry breadcrumbs, preferably 4C brand
1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup olive oil or vegetable oil; more as needed
1 lb. dried spaghetti
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Start making the marinara sauce. While it’s simmering, make the meatballs.
Break up the ground meat into a large bowl. Sprinkle on the salt, pepper, minced garlic, eggs, grated cheese, breadcrumbs, 1-1/2 cups water, and parsley. Mix with your hands until everything is nicely distributed, but don’t overmix. Shape into twelve meatballs by gently scooping up a handful of meat and rolling it into a nice even ball; each meatball should weigh about 4 oz. and be about 2-1/2 inches in diameter.
In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil and the lightly smashed garlic clove over medium heat. (If your skillet is larger than 10 inches, you’ll need to add more oil; there should be enough to come about halfway up the sides of the meatballs.) When the garlic is lightly browned, the oil should be hot enough to start frying. (Remove the garlic from the oil once it becomes fully browned.) Gently set six of the meatballs in the oil and fry until they’re lightly browned on the bottom half, 5 to 6 min. Carefully turn them over using a slotted spatula and brown the other side. Drain the meatballs on a few paper towels to soak up excess oil. Fry the remaining six meatballs the same way.
When the marinara has finished its initial simmer and you’ve seasoned it, add the meatballs to the simmering sauce and cover the pot. Simmer them together for 30 min. to let the sauce permeate the meatballs and the meat flavor infuse the sauce.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When the meatballs and sauce have been simmering for about 20 min., add the spaghetti to the boiling water and boil until it’s just about al dente.
When the spaghetti is done, drain it and return it to the pot it was cooked in. Add the chopped fresh basil and a couple of ladlefuls of the marinara sauce to the spaghetti. Put the pot over high heat and, with a wooden spoon or tongs, constantly toss the pasta until each piece is coated with sauce, about 1 min. Transfer to serving bowls and ladle more sauce over the spaghetti, along with two to three meatballs (or transfer the meatballs to a serving platter and set it on the table). Serve with grated cheese.
nutrition information (per serving):
Size: based on six servings; Calories (kcal): 1060; Fat (g): 51; Fat Calories (kcal): 460; Saturated Fat (g): 14; Protein (g): 47; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 29; Carbohydrates (g): 99; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5; Sodium (mg): 4260; Cholesterol (mg): 170; Fiber (g): 12;
photo: Scott Phillips
From Fine Cooking 71, pp. 51
April 1, 2005


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