Are you craving a delicious and hearty Italian meal? Look no further! In this article, we will guide you through a mouthwatering recipe for Italian spaghetti sauce with meatballs. This classic dish is sure to impress your family and friends, and it’s surprisingly easy to make. So, roll up your sleeves and let’s get cooking!
Italian spaghetti sauce with meatballs is a timeless favorite that has been passed down through generations. It’s a quintessential Italian-American dish that brings comfort and warmth to any dinner table. The combination of succulent meatballs and rich tomato sauce over a bed of perfectly cooked spaghetti is simply irresistible. Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or a casual weeknight meal, this recipe will become a go-to in your kitchen.
To create this delectable dish, you’ll need the following ingredients:
For the Meatballs:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Spaghetti Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1 can (14 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Spaghetti:
- 1 pound spaghetti
- Salt for pasta water
Making the Meatballs
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, minced garlic, egg, milk, salt, and pepper.
- Mix the ingredients thoroughly until well combined. It’s best to use your hands to ensure even distribution of flavors.
- Shape the mixture into meatballs, about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter, and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake the meatballs for 20 to 25 minutes or until they are fully cooked and browned on the outside.
Preparing the Spaghetti Sauce
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they become translucent.
- Add the minced garlic to the saucepan and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly to avoid burning.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
- Add the dried oregano, dried basil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir the sauce and let it simmer on low heat for at least 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
Cooking the Spaghetti
- Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt to the boiling water.
- Add the spaghetti to the pot and cook according to the package instructions until it reaches al dente consistency.
- Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain it in a colander.
Serving Your Dish
- Place a serving of cooked spaghetti on a plate.
- Ladle the flavorful spaghetti sauce over the pasta.
- Top the dish with a few meatballs.
- Garnish with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley for an extra burst of flavor.
Tips and Variations
- For a spicier sauce, add a pinch of red pepper flakes while preparing the sauce.
- If you prefer a smoother sauce, you can use an immersion blender to puree the sauce.
- Feel free to add other ingredients like mushrooms, bell peppers, or olives to the sauce for additional taste and texture.
Italian spaghetti sauce with meatballs pairs wonderfully with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti or Barbera. The fruity and slightly acidic notes of these wines complement the richness of the sauce and enhance the overall dining experience.
1. Can I use turkey or chicken instead of beef and pork for the meatballs?
- Yes, you can use ground turkey or chicken to make a leaner version of meatballs.
2. How long can I store leftover sauce and meatballs?
- Leftover sauce and meatballs can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
3. Can I freeze the sauce for later use?
- Absolutely! Allow the sauce to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
4. Can I use store-bought meatballs to save time?
- While it’s convenient, making homemade meatballs adds a personal touch and elevates the dish’s flavor.
5. Can I use a different type of pasta for this dish?
- Yes, you can use penne, rigatoni, or any pasta of your choice, but spaghetti is the traditional and most preferred option.
Get ready to enjoy a delightful Italian meal with this scrumptious spaghetti sauce and meatballs recipe. The burst of flavors, the comforting aroma, and the satisfaction of creating a homemade masterpiece will leave you and your loved ones craving for more. So, why wait? Gather your ingredients and start cooking this classic Italian favorite today!