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The Best Meatballs for Spaghetti

October 5, 2018


I am fully aware as I start this post that there’s pretty much zero possibility of me getting through it without making at least one ball joke so I think it’s best for everyone if I keep it short. I often find that the simplest things are the hardest to make. Meatballs seems so straightforward but so often they’re bland and hard and….I’m done…just gonna bow out here and save us all. Here is the best recipe I’ve ever found and the one I turn to time and time again for meatballs. Nothing funny about that.



This is my own lazy version of a popular recipe by Kittencals I originally found here but can no longer access due to EU data protection laws. In any case, it’s great and easily messed with. Leave things out you don’t have already, add things you do. This recipe makes a ton of meatballs – enough for 8 people at least – but it freezes so well, you might as well make a big batch.

For the meatballs:

3.5 pounds ground beef & pork (I use about half beef, half pork and meat with the highest percentages of fat)

3 eggs

1 cup bread crumbs

1 cup milk

1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano (I skip this when I’m too lazy to grate it)

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1.5 teaspoon salt (don’t skimp!)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

For sauce: (you want to make sure the meatballs are mostly covered, use however much does the trick)

1 large jar (700 g) passata (unseasoned tomato puree)

1 large can peeled tomatoes

1 small can pizza sauce (seasoned tomato puree)


To serve: 2 pounds (1 kg) very al dente spaghetti & lots of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano

Start by making the meat mixture: For the meatballs, mix all the ingredients except the meat together in a really big bowl with a whisk. Then use your hands to gently but thoroughly mix in the meat.

Next, make the sauce: in a very large pot (preferrably with a wide bottom), mix all the sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer while you form the meat mixture into balls of a similar size.

Plop the balls directly into the bubbling sauce. Cook over low heat, covered, and don’t stir for at least 15 minutes or else the meatballs will break. Remove cover and gently stir so the meatballs all have time to cook under the sauce. Don’t turn up the heat or the meat will stick to the bottom and break. Continue cooking until meatballs are cooked through, at least 35 minutes, and until sauce is reduced to your liking. (It’s OK if it’s a little watery, as you can undercook the pasta and the finish it in the sauce, which will be soaked right up.) You can make this a few days ahead of time, just keep the whole cooled pot in the fridge until you need it. Just remember to stir gently.

To serve, mix very al dente spaghetti with the bubbling sauce, cook together for a minute, stirring gently. Top bowls of pasta mixed with sauce with the meatballs and ample freshly grated parmigiano.


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