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Italian Spaghetti with Meatballs Recipe

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 YIELD:20-24 servings

Ingredients

  • 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
  • MEATBALLS:
  • 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
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    With Johnsonville Italian Sausage.

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Directions

  • 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.

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.

Wine Pairings

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

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