Normally, when I make spaghetti recipes, I just make a meat based marinara sauce with freshly roasted tomatoes. It is fairly easy to make and I don’t need to spend a lot of time on it but it tastes great.
But there are times when I feel like going to the effort of making large meat balls to go with my sauce. Nothing seems to set an authentic Italian mood quite like home made meatballs and they soak up the sauce beautifully and make a more hearty dish.
This recipe for savory Italian meatballs and spaghetti takes a bit of time to do but is worth the effort. No need to visit the Olive garden when you can put together this tasty Italian meal!
The sauce is rich and thick. I use a good quality Malbec drinking wine to add extra flavor to the sauce as well as the meatballs. Don’t skimp on the wine by using a cheap one. I always use wines I would be happy to drink. The sauces are so much better with good quality wines in them, and it only takes a bit so does not add much to the cost of the recipe.
Serve these Italian meatballs with a side salad, Parmesan cheese and home made garlic bread. Viva Italia!
Doesn’t this make your mouth water? The sauce is sweet and rich. One of the best ones I have tasted in a long time!
If you love to experiment with Italian cooking, my affiliate Amazon has a great cookbook from the Culinary Institute of America for Italian cooking at home.
- For the tomato sauce:
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, minced (save 2 tbsp for the meatballs)
- 3 garlic gloves, minced
- 7 cups (56 ounces) of crushed tomatoes (freshly roasted are best but a good canned version is fine too.)
- ⅓ cup of Malbec wine (any good quality red wine will work)
- 4 ounces tomato paste (this makes it quite thick, you can use less if you want a thinner consistency)
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp cracked black pepper
- For the Meatballs
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 large eggs (I use free range eggs)
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 2 tbsp minced onion
- 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1 tbsp Malbec
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
- To Garnish:
- Fresh Basil
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- To make the Tomato Sauce-
- Heat the olive oil over a medium low heat and sauté onion and garlic until onions are translucent about 3 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and wine and stir well to combine. Add the tomatoes and simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Season the tomato sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- To make the meatballs:
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. I just use my hands. It seems to works the best.
- Roll meatballs to the size of an egg, each about 3 ounces in weight.
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Evenly space the meatballs on the sheet.
- Cook the meatballs until browned, about 15-20 minutes.
- Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce. Simmer on low heat for at least 1 ½ hours, (the longer you give it the better) checking and stirring every so often.
- Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain.
- Remove the meatballs from the sauce into a separate bowl, cover to keep warm. Stir the sauce; adjust consistency with small amounts of wine if too thick. Correct seasoning if needed.
- Garnish meatballs with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese over the cooked spaghetti.
- Serve with a tossed salad and side of home made garlic bread. Enjoy!
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