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Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs


140 min

Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs

Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs Photo 1


Bbq sauce


140 min


6 persons




4.00 rating-star (3)


Author: Victoria Bailey
This is an Italian-style pasta sauce with homemade meatballs that's cooked slowly over low heat for an intense tomato flavor. It's easy to make the spaghetti sauce ahead of time; gently reheat and add meatballs 30 minutes before you're ready to serve with your favorite pasta.


  • lean ground beef: 1 pound
  • fresh bread crumbs: 1 cup
  • dried parsley: 1 Tbsp
  • grated Parmesan cheese: 1 Tbsp
  • ground black pepper: 0.25 tsp
  • garlic powder: 0.125 tsp
  • egg, beaten: 1 piece
  • chopped onion: 0.75 cup
  • garlic, minced: 5 clove
  • olive oil: 0.25 cup
  • (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes: 2 cans
  • salt: 2 tsp
  • white sugar: 1 tsp
  • bay leaf: 1 piece
  • (6 ounce) can tomato paste: 1 can
  • dried basil: 0.75 tsp
  • ground black pepper: 0.5 tsp

Metric Conversion

Stages of cooking

  1. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder and beaten egg. Mix well and form into 12 balls. Store, covered, in refrigerator until needed.
    Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs Photo 2
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent. Stir in tomatoes, salt, sugar and bay leaf. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 90 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, basil, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and meatballs and simmer 30 minutes more.
    Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs Photo 3

History of the Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs:

The Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs is a popular dish that has its roots in Southern Italy. Meatballs, also known as polpette in Italian, are often made with a combination of meats, such as beef, pork, and veal, and seasoned with herbs and spices. These meatballs are then simmered in a tomato-based sauce and served over pasta, making for a hearty and delicious meal.

It is said that in the late 1800s, Italian immigrants brought this recipe to America, where it quickly became a popular dish, especially in Italian-American communities. Today, Italian spaghetti sauce with meatballs is a beloved comfort food that can be found on menus all over the world.

Tips and Tricks for Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs Recipe:

  • Use lean ground beef for a healthier meatball.
  • Soak the breadcrumbs in milk to make the meatballs more tender.
  • Don't overmix the meatball mixture, as it can make the meatballs tough.
  • Use a combination of fresh and canned tomatoes for a more complex flavor in the sauce.
  • Simmer the sauce slowly over low heat for a more intense flavor.
  • Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a little bit of heat, if desired.
  • Taste the sauce before serving and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Tips for presenting the dish:

  • Serve the spaghetti sauce with meatballs over your favorite type of pasta, such as spaghetti, fettuccine, or penne.
  • Garnish the dish with fresh basil or grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Serve the sauce and meatballs in a large, family-style serving dish for a rustic feel.
  • Add a side salad or garlic bread to complete the meal.
  • Don't forget a glass of red wine to accompany the dish.

How to Use Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs

This recipe makes the perfect, versatile sauce for any Italian-inspired dish. You can serve it over your favorite pasta for an easy dinner. Or you can try one of these mouthwatering recipes.

Meatball SandwichMeatball Sub CasseroleSpaghetti Bread

How to Store Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs

Store this spaghetti sauce with meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge for three to five days.

Can you Freeze Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs?

Absolutely, and it's actually a great idea! You'll want to brown the meatballs first before freezing them, however.

If you make a big batch of sauce, add a few meatballs to zip-top freezer bags and top with sauce. Label the bags and freeze them flat. Sauce will remain fresh for up to three months.

You can also freeze the sauce and meatballs separately. Simply ladle the sauce in zip-top freezer bags and freeze them flat.

To freeze meatballs, first brown them, then place them on a baking sheet. Freeze the baking sheet for a few hours (or overnight), until the meatballs are solid. Transfer the frozen meatballs to a zip-top freezer bag.

Sauce and meatballs will remain fresh for up to three months.

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