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Spaghetti and Meatballs | Jennifer Cooks
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5 from 1 vote

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Servings: 10 servings
Author: Jennifer Locklin


  • 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
  • 1 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
  • 1/4 chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 sleeve saltine crackers finely crushed
  • 1/2 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


  • For the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients.
  • Mix by hand to thoroughly combine all ingredients, but do not overwork or the meatballs will become tough.
  • Portion meat into golf ball size meatballs (I use 2 cookie scoopfuls).
  • Roll into balls and place on a greased foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Bake meatballs, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: In the jar of a blender, combine all ingredients and puree until smooth.
  • Pour sauce into a large, deep saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Assemble: Place about 1/4 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 1/2 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.