Italian Spaghetti with Meatballs Recipe

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My mother got this recipe from our Italian neighbors in the 1950s. It's been a big hit at our church community dinners, where we sometimes make three or four batches of this wonderful sauce.—Monica Crouch, Trotwood, Ohio
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. Cook: 3 hours
MAKES:20-24 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. Cook: 3 hours
MAKES: 20-24 servings


  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cans (28 ounces each) tomato puree
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) tomato sauce
  • 2 cans (12 ounces each) tomato paste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups soft bread crumbs
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 pounds ground beef
    With Johnsonville Italian Sausage.

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Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 each) equals 185 calories, 8 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 66 mg cholesterol, 545 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 16 g protein.


  1. In two or three stockpots or Dutch ovens, saute garlic and parsley in oil 1 minute. Add tomato puree, sauce, paste, sugar and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 2-1/2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°. For meatballs, in a large bowl, combine the eggs, water, onion, bread crumbs, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, garlic and seasonings; mix well. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. Place meatballs on greased racks in shallow baking pans. Bake, uncovered, 15-18 minutes or until no longer pink.
  3. Stir the remaining Parmesan into spaghetti sauce; simmer 30 minutes. Drain meatballs on paper towels; add to sauce. Yield: 20-24 servings.
Originally published as Spaghetti and Meatballs in Taste of Home April/May 2002, p54

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 each) equals 185 calories, 8 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 66 mg cholesterol, 545 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 16 g protein.

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

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

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Reviewed Jan. 14, 2013

My husband (who cringes when I make spaghetti) LOVED this recipe! He said it is better than my Italian brother-in-law's sauce. What a compliment!! Thank you for this recipe!

Reviewed Aug. 15, 2010

This recipe is AWSOME! I have used this recipe for the last few years when I make sauce to can from my tomatoes. My entire family LOVES it and won't eat store bought sauce anymore.

Reviewed Dec. 24, 2009

I just made the meatballs, they were VERY good and easy to make. The family loved them. This is is a keeper.

Reviewed Oct. 18, 2009

Whether cooking for a crowd or wanting a great freeze it for later recipe, this spaghetti and meatballs recipe is the best I have ever tried. It does make a lot, but like I said, if it's too much, freeze it for a busy night along with a batch of buttery bubble bread!

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