Nothing says comfort food like Spaghetti & Meatballs. In this recipe, you’ll prepare Classic Marinara Sauce as well as scrumptious, tender meatballs that will stick to your ribs, and possibly put you into a food coma on a cold winter’s night.
Time: 60 minutes
Cost: About $4-6 per plate
For the Meatballs:
- 3/4 lb ground beef (either 80/20 or 70/30, but too lean and your meatballs will dry out and fall apart)
- 1 lb ground pork
- 4oz bacon, finely diced
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (fresh is best!)
- 1-2 TBSP freshly chopped Italian parsley
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- salt and pepper
- 1 TBSP ground oregano
- up to 1 cup water (you probably won’t use all of it)
For the Marinara Sauce: See Classic Marinara Sauce
Preheat oven to 325F.
In a large mixing bowl, add first 9 ingredients and mix together well using your hands. Add water, a few splashes at a time, until the mixture becomes sticky but not overly wet. You want it just moist enough that it sticks together and that’s it. Remember, once you add the water, you can’t take it out!
Once the mixture is the desired consistency, begin making your meatballs by rolling a portion of the mixture into balls between the palms of your hands. I prefer my meatballs to be about 2.5″ in diameter, but form them to whatever size you like.
In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat 3-4 TBSP olive oil until shimmering but not smoking (about 350F – 375F). Working in batches, fry the meatballs on all sides until nicely browned. Once browned, transfer them to a wire rack set over a baking sheet (or if no wire rack, just put them on the baking sheet) and bake them in the oven until they reach an internal temperature of 160F, about 20 – 25 minutes. Use an instant read thermometer to verify this.
Drain all but 2 TBSP fat from the sauté pan. (If you do not have 2 TBSP fat in the pan, add 2 TBSP butter or olive oil, or 1 TBSP each into the pan).
Prepare Classic Marinara Sauce in the same pan (don’t wash it, you want all the good stuff from the meatballs in your sauce!)
Once the marinara sauce has reduced somewhat and the meatballs are up to temperature, remove the meatballs from the oven and place them in the sauté pan with the marinara sauce. Using tongs, gently rotate them in the sauce to coat and simmer on low for 5 minutes. Serve over spaghetti.