Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe
Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

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4.5 56 53
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This authentic Italian recipe was given to me by my cousin's wife, who is from Italy. It's so hearty and satisfying, everyone's eyes light up when I tell my family that we're having this for supper! —Etta Winter, Pavillion, New York
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 1-1/2 hours
MAKES:6 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 1-1/2 hours
MAKES: 6 servings


  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 cups water, divided
  • 3 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 6 slices day-old bread, torn into pieces
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Hot cooked spaghetti
  • Additional Parmesan cheese, optional

Nutritional Facts

1-2/3 cups: 373 calories, 13g fat (5g saturated fat), 123mg cholesterol, 1201mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (17g sugars, 7g fiber), 26g protein.


  1. In a Dutch oven, combine the tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 cup water, onion, sugar, oregano, bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt, garlic and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1-1/4 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, soak bread in remaining water. Squeeze out excess moisture. In a large bowl, combine the bread, eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley and remaining salt, garlic and pepper. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into thirty-six 1-1/2-in. meatballs.
  3. Place meatballs on a rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 20 minutes or until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to spaghetti sauce. Simmer, uncovered, until heated through, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf. Serve with spaghetti; if desired, top with additional Parmesan. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs in Country Ground Beef 1993, p70

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.

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mkaskela User ID: 6061564 232396
Reviewed Sep. 6, 2015


pajamaangel User ID: 1603339 231600
Reviewed Aug. 22, 2015

"Meatballs were tasty. Sauce needed more flavor."

poppadude User ID: 8368591 227212
Reviewed May. 31, 2015 Edited Jul. 11, 2015

"Awesome !!!!! I did not add the eggs....Worked out great ...."

Dilli User ID: 7204156 202101
Reviewed Jun. 17, 2014

"Six slices of bread for one pound of meat & 2 eggs? Seems like a lot. For even 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of meat I use only 1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs or 2 slices of bread and 1 egg. I do one egg per 1 pound of meat. When in season I use fresh basil. Gives the sauce and meat a wonderful refreshing taste."

euge1 User ID: 3773156 14421
Reviewed Dec. 14, 2013


cremation User ID: 5197483 20263
Reviewed Feb. 17, 2013

"The time to make was to long and the meatballs were tasteless."

country baker User ID: 3829081 44720
Reviewed Feb. 10, 2013

"What a great recipe. My family and I loved it. Could hardly wait for it to be done cooking. The only thing I did differently was to use my blender to smooth out the tomatoes because my hubby and daughter don't like tomato chunks. Will be making this again."

ferndale52 User ID: 4154455 14415
Reviewed Jan. 28, 2013

"nice american standard. meatballs are tender, but i think they are made with a little too much bread - it does make it spread though, makes a lot of spaghetti. my family ate with relish."

bristol User ID: 214509 20352
Reviewed Jan. 25, 2013

"The sauce was sour-tasting and bland. It improved by the addition of 1 qt. of Prego-but still so-so. The meatballs had too much bread in them-3 slices would have been enough. If this is authentic Italian, where are the spices? 1-1/2 tsp of oregano was just not enough. Sorry."

GJALEX User ID: 4766330 20339
Reviewed Jan. 24, 2013

"Spaghetti is my favorite food and I'm always trying new sauce recipes and I give this a "10". I couldn't stop tasting it so I hope I have enough for dinner. I do recommend you try this recipe. I like crushed instead of diced tomato and that was the only change. Thank you for sharing."

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