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Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

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 YIELD: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


  • 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.

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.

Reviews for Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs

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Reviewed Sep. 6, 2015


Reviewed Aug. 22, 2015

"Meatballs were tasty. Sauce needed more flavor."

Reviewed May. 31, 2015 Edited Jul. 11, 2015

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

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."

Reviewed Dec. 14, 2013


Reviewed Feb. 17, 2013

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

country baker
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."

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."

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."

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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