Simple, Delicious Spaghetti + Meatballs {my favorite recipe!}

by Amy on 23 October 2012

has anyone ever asked you, ‘what’s your all-time favorite meal?’ i get that question frequently, + honestly, it isn’t too hard for me to answer. there are lots of meals i adore, but there isn’t a single one that i crave + love more than simple, traditional, delicious spaghetti + meatballs. meatballs + i have a long history together: a super picky eater as a child, my mom’s homemade meatballs were one of the few things that i would always happily eat. and even in my 7 years as a vegetarian, i didn’t abandon my meatball love – i simply substituted soy/meatless versions, which i still like today.

i’ve tried + enjoyed many different meatball recipes – beef, pork, chicken, turkey, + veggie versions – but this one is hands-down my favorite. the jumbo, flavorful beef meatballs start by cooking in the oven, which gives them a lovely caramelization, + finish in simmering pasta sauce, which keeps them super tender + moist. an extra perk? they freeze wonderfully! when i make them, i double or triple the recipe, freezing a bunch for quick, scrumptious future meals. so, if you’re looking for what could be your new favorite spaghetti + meatball recipe, look no further – this one is fantastic!

simple, delicious spaghetti + meatballs {my favorite recipe}

makes 14 meatballs, adapted from martha stewart


olive oil or nonstick cooking spray
1 pound ground beef
1 1/2 cups finely grated pecorino romano cheese
1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
3 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 small onion, grated
3 tablespoons minced garlic
coarse salt

1 pound pasta (i use spaghetti, angel hair, linguine or fettuccine)
about 50 oz. pasta sauce: either 2 store-bought jars or homemade (i always use this simple pasta sauce recipe)
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, julienned
freshly grated pecorino romano cheese, for serving


preheat oven to 350 degrees. lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

in a large bowl, mix together beef, cheese, 1 cup breadcrumbs, eggs, milk, herbs, onion, + garlic; season with salt. if mixture seems too loose, mix in remaining 1/2 cup breadcrumbs as necessary.

roll meat mixture into 2 1/2-ounce balls; transfer to prepared baking sheet. transfer to oven + bake until beef is cooked through + lightly browned, 25-30 minutes.

meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. generously salt water + return to a boil. add pasta + cook until al dente, according to package directions; drain.

heat sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat. transfer meatballs to sauce + cook for at least 15 minutes in sauce.

transfer meatballs + 1 cup of sauce to a bowl + set aside. remove remaining sauce from heat. stir in basil + add drained pasta; toss to combine. transfer pasta to a large serving platter; top with meatballs + reserved sauce. serve immediately, sprinkled with extra cheese, if desired.

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{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

51 Claudia Delplace July 14, 2015 at 5:32 pm

Lovely. Sure it tastes fantastic :)

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