Classic Spaghetti & Meatballs

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
Level: Easy
Cost: About $4-6 per plate
Serves: 4-6


For the Meatballs:

  1. 3/4 lb ground beef (either 80/20 or 70/30, but too lean and your meatballs will dry out and fall apart)
  2. 1 lb ground pork
  3. 4oz bacon, finely diced
  4. 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (fresh is best!)
  7. 1-2 TBSP freshly chopped Italian parsley
  8. 2 cups classic bread crumbs (or 1 cup Panko, if you prefer)
  9. salt and pepper
  10. 1 TBSP powdered oregano (I like a lot of oregano, adjust accordingly)
  11. 2 packets unflavored gelatin
  12. 2 pieces bread, torn into roughly 1 inch pieces
  13. 1 cup milk or water (you may not use all of it)

For the Marinara Sauce:  See Classic Marinara Sauce


Preheat oven to 450F.

Add ingredients 11-13 in a medium bowl and allow to soak for 10 minutes.

While soaking, combine first 10 ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Remove bread from milk/water and add to meat mixture.

Mix together well using your hands.  Add water or milk, 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!  Don’t overwork the meat.

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.

Pat them dry-ish, and transfer them to a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Transfer them to 450°F oven and bake until brown, 10 – 15 minutes.  If they don’t brown enough, you can turn the broiler on for a couple minutes.  Once browned, turn the oven off and allow meatballs to finish in residual heat.

Prepare Classic Marinara Sauce.

Once the marinara sauce has reduced to desired consistency, 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 5-10 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through (internal temp should be 165°F).  Serve over spaghetti.



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