Spaghetti and Meatballs
Serves: 10 servings
  • Meatballs:
  • 2 pounds ground beef (used: ground chuck 80/20)
  • 2 pounds ground pork sausage (used: mild breakfast sausage)
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ cup finely grated parmesan
  • ¼ chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 sleeve saltine crackers, finely crushed
  • ½ cup milk
  • Raw Marinara Sauce:
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano, stripped of leaves (use leaves only)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 10 oil packed sun dried tomato halves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 small lemon)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Pasta:
  • 2 pounds dry spaghetti
  1. For the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients.
  2. Mix by hand to thoroughly combine all ingredients, but do not overwork or the meatballs will become tough.
  3. Portion meat into golf ball size meatballs (I use 2 cookie scoopfuls).
  4. Roll into balls and place on a greased foil-lined baking sheet.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Bake meatballs, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: In the jar of a blender, combine all ingredients and puree until smooth.
  8. Pour sauce into a large, deep saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  9. Remove meatballs from oven and carefully place them in the sauce and continue to simmer meatballs and sauce for an additional 10 minutes, gently stirring occasionally.
  10. For the pasta: In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil and cook the spaghetti until "al dente", about 8 to 10 minutes.
  11. Assemble: Place about ¼ cup of sauce onto each serving plate, then a portion of cooked spaghetti, then 3 to 4 meatballs with additional sauce. Top with extra parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve immediately.
If you like a lot of sauce, double the sauce ingredients.
You can substitute Italian sausage for breakfast sausage.
You can also substitute ½ cup chopped fresh parsley if you don't have basil and chives.
Meatballs can be formed the day before; cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. *I prefer to make my meatballs at least an hour before I'm ready to cook to allow the flavors to marry, it's even better done the day before.
Recipe by Jennifer Cooks at