Skip the Little Italy restaurant tonight. Instead, create Italian meatballs and spaghetti with tomato-garlic sauce in your own kitchen! These Italian-style meatballs are awash in a killer tomato sauce then, spooned over a heap of al-dente spaghetti.
This Old World Italian meatball and spaghetti dinner is a timeless classic. This is by far one of our most beloved Italian dishes.
The made-from-scratch tomato-garlic sauce is easy to put together. This sauce is better tasting than my favorite jarred tomato sauce. It includes red wine, herbs and a punch of garlic. Are you not a garlic lover? No problem….adjust to your preference. It will still be one terrific tasting sauce!
How to make Italian Meatballs and Spaghetti with Tomato-Garlic Sauce:
We made these tender, juicy meatballs with a combination of ground beef and sweet Italian pork sausage. I know it is tempting to use the leanest ground beef possible but resist the urge! You will have better-tasting meatballs when using beef with 85-15 ratio…. 85% lean and 15% fat. The percentage of fat is important if you want a great meatball.
The added Parmesan and fresh herbs add maximum flavor. Then, when the Italian sausage is combined with the beef you really have a winner. BEST ITALIAN MEATBALLS EVER!!
We combined the beef-sausage mixture with a beaten egg and bread soaked in milk. Parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, garlic, and seasoning complete the meatball mixture.
Why Use Bread Soaked in Milk?
This is one of the secrets that makes a great meatball and keeps them moist! The secret to these juicy, tender meatballs is the milk-soaked bread. It adds the much-needed moisture to the meat blend. If you have been making your meatballs with plain cracker crumbs or bread crumbs try the milk-soaked bread and taste and see if they are better.
What is in the Tomato-Garlic Sauce:
How long do you cook the meatballs in the sauce?
What should you serve with Italian meatballs?
SOME OTHER RECIPES WE ARE SURE YOU WILL LOVE:
- Lemon Chicken Piccata is an easy and fast recipe but it packs a ton of flavor.
- Lamb Shanks – Osso Buco Style is one of those recipes you will want to plan some time for. It only takes 40 minutes to prepare but you will need to give it a few hours of cook time.
- Minestrone Soup is fast to throw together but make sure you plan for a couple of hours to let it cook. You won’t regret waiting for this classic Italian soup.
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- 2 slices French or Italian bread, crusts removed and torn into small pieces
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 pound ground beef (85-15% ratio )
- 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, not in casing
- 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 teaspoons grated or minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil for browning
Tomato-Garlic Sauce and spaghetti
- Homemade Tomato-Garlic Sauce or your favorite store-bought brand
- 8 ounces spaghetti (I like to use Buccatini, which is thicker than spaghetti and is a lot like a long skinny tube)
- Soak the bread in the milk for 5 minutes, then squeeze out the bread and discard the milk. In a large mixing bowl, combine the soaked bread, the beaten egg, ground beef, sausage, the grated Parmesan cheese, parsley, olive oil, garlic, lemon peel, allspice, oregano, salt and the black pepper. Mix with a fork or wooden spoon until all the ingredients are blended but do not over mix or the meat will become tough.
- Form the meat into balls about 2-inches in diameter. Place the meatballs on a tray or baking sheet in one layer and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. (In the meantime, make the sauce)
- In a large heavy-bottomed skillet heat 4 tablespoons of oil over moderate heat until a light haze forms over it. Fry the meatballs in batches of 5-8 at a time shaking the skillet constantly to roll the balls and keeping them round. As each batch browns remove them from the skillet and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil off. The meatballs will be slightly underdone and will finish cooking in the simmering sauce.
For the tomato-garlic sauce and the Spaghetti:
- Heat the tomato-garlic sauce (or a jar of marinara sauce) in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Transfer the meatballs to the hot sauce and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare the pasta according to package instructions and when still firm (al-dente) remove from heat, drain but do not rinse, reserve half a cup of the water and add to the sauce and meatballs. Serve the meatballs and sauce immediately over the hot pasta.
- You will have better tasting meatballs when using a beef with 85-15 ratio…. 85% lean and 15% fat.
- The secret to these juicy, tender meatballs is the milk-soaked bread. It adds the much needed moisture to the meat blend.
- The added Parmesan and fresh herbs add maximum flavor to the meatballs.
- Adjust the garlic in the tomato-garlic sauce to your preference
Amount Per ServingCalories 501 Total Fat 24g Saturated Fat 7g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 14g Cholesterol 87mg Sodium 617mg Carbohydrates 40g Fiber 4g Sugar 15g Protein 28g