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Deliciously Easy Spaghetti & Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs are a deliciously easy meal! One secret ingredient creates a light meatball perfect for red sauce over noodles!

Deliciously Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs is an italian classic that didn’t get much playtime at our house growing up. My mom makes the BEST bolognese sauce (thanks to my Aunt Lois!), which is what we had often. One time MBB and our friend Sandy purchased FOURTEEN POUNDS of ground beef and turned Sandy’s kitchen into a meatball making sweatshop with the seven kids… 

Easy spaghetti and meatballs

You can imagine seven children up to their elbows in ground meat and eggs and bread crumbs and parmesan… I’m sure we have a picture somewhere of this production! This only happened one time, but I know I remember it (not so) fondly, and always think about it when I’m making meatballs as an adult. Mainly, because it would be nice to have kids rolling these bad boys out! As with cookies and “redundant” cooking things, I abhor them…. Which is why you see enormous 1/4 cup sized meatballs in these pictures. First world problem, I know…

Spaghetti and meatball dinner recipe idea

Now, this recipe would make a TON of little baby meatballs… it made about 30 1/4 cup sized meatballs (what you see pictured!). If you are a busy family, who need quick dinner plans, make the baby ones and freeze in bags, ready to go anytime! 

Do you know how to flash freeze?

After you’ve cooked your meatballs, let them cool completely. Lay out on a sheet tray, about half an inch apart, and place in the freezer. Chill for 20 minutes, then you can pop into labeled freezer bags and have meatballs anytime! Flash freezing helps the meatballs not stick together, making it easy to remove however many you need. 

Spaghetti and meatball recipe

There are few simple techniques you need to “master”

when making spaghetti and meatballs. 

  1. Gently mixing your meat.
  2. Pinçage
  3. Tossing your pasta with sauce before serving

First, Gently Mix the Meatballs:

When you add all your ingredients to make your meatballs, just add them all to a large mixing bowl. Using the ricotta cheese inside this mixture will already help you create tender meatballs and no worry of over mixing. I know it’s the word that no one wants to use, but these meatballs are incredibly moist because of the ricotta cheese. If you are worried you may over mix your meatballs, use a fork to mix everything. While it does take a bit longer to combine, using a fork helps keep everything super light and airy. 

Next, Pinçage:

This is an old French cooking technique that combines onions, carrots, celery, and tomato paste. You cook this down for a LONG time, and it creates a lovely sauce you can add to any soup, stew, etc for an added flavor booster. The pinçage technique mainly refers to cooking tomato paste; which is tomato sauce that has been reduced significantly. You need to cook it in order to lose the raw, tinny tomato flavor. Just a few minutes on the stovetop will do! Don’t worry, this isn’t something you need to tend to for hours. 

Let’s chat about tomato paste for a moment…

I prefer to use tomato paste in the tube. One reason is that it is double concentrated. Which means you end up with a richer tomato flavor. Plus! It’s super convenient in the tube. Just squeeze, twist the top back on, and put it in the fridge. With the cans, you either need to use the entire thing or find something to store it in.

Finally, Toss Spaghetti Noodles with Your Sauce:

Tossing your red sauce with your spaghetti allows the cooked pasta to absorb the tomato sauce flavor, resulting in a better spaghetti and meatball eating experience! I also like having some of the pasta water “come along” with the pasta when you add it to the sauce. I just use my tongs and pick up handfuls of pasta and plop into the sauce. The residual pasta water will help thin the sauce a bit, but also thicken it up with the starch. 

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Deliciously Easy Meatballs

  • Author: Sweetpea
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: italian

Description

Spaghetti and meatballs are a deliciously easy meal! One secret ingredient creates a light meatball perfect for red sauce over noodles!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound ground sausage
  • 15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 4 eggs, cracked and beaten
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl.
  2. Mix by hand (gently!) until all ingredients are well combined and distributed.
  3. Portion out meatballs onto a half sheet pan. (Either by a cookie scoop for small meatballs, or a 1/4 cup measuring cup for larger meatballs.) Leave about half an inch between each meatball.
  4. Bake meatballs at 400˚ for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. Save for sauce, or let cool and add to freezer bags for later use!

Keywords: easy meatballs for spaghetti

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Deliciously Easy Spaghetti Sauce

  • Author: Sweetpea
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: stove top cooking
  • Cuisine: italin

Description

A classic red sauce for meatballs and spaghetti


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine (such as pinot noir)
  • 2, 14-ounce cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2, 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large dutch oven, add olive oil and butter over medium-high heat.
  2. Add diced onions and sauté until soft.
  3. Grate four garlic cloves over top onions and stir for 20 seconds.
  4. Pinçage* tomato paste for a minute and a half or so.
  5. Stir in spices to “toast” the flavors.
  6. Carefully pour in red wine and stir well, bringing up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  7. Add in diced and crushed tomatoes and bay leaves.
  8. Simmer for half an hour (longer the better!), stirring occasionally.
  9. Just before serving, add in 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.

Notes

Pinçage: This is a technique used to cook the tomato paste. It’s actually when you cook onions, carrots, celery, and tomato paste down… But, it’s most often referred to when adding tomato paste to a recipe.

Keywords: a simple red sauce for spaghetti and meatballs

In closing, serve these easy spaghetti and meatballs with this Everyday Salad and some Garlic Bread for a complete meal. 

Did you have spaghetti and meatballs growing up?! I would love to hear in the comments below!

You can also save the graphics to Pinterest for easy access or to share with your friends!

spaghetti and meatballs

 

Spicy red sauce and meatballs.

 

Cheers, Sweet Friends!

sweetpea lifestyle

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12 Comments

  1. I LOVE a good spag bowl recipe and this looks delicious. It is great that you can keep it in the freezer for busy week nights, cheers!

  2. I LOVE a good spag bowl recipe and this looks delicious. It is great that you can keep it in the freezer for busy week and family nights, cheers!

  3. Making this over the weekend as a freezer meal! I have so many meetings next week it’s going to come in handy!

  4. One of the best classics ever! And your recipe looks so inviting, I want to get into my kitchen right now and make some spaghetti and meatballs! Thanks for this recipe!

    1. It is, isn’t it?! And it’s one I often forget. But, every time I make it, it is so comforting!

  5. You made meatballs recipe look so easy! Tha fact that they take so much time to cook, I never tried them from scratch. I think it’s about time.

    1. Yes!!! You’ll have to let me know what you think!!! And, this is definitely one recipe I will tell you TAKE THE TIME and MAKE A LOT. My mama was right, “roll once, eat often.” 😉

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