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My Best Spaghetti & Meatballs

One of my favorite childhood memories is going to the Old Spaghetti Factory with my family and ordering a big plate of cheesy spaghetti, meatballs and garlic bread. My homemade recipe reminds me of those fun times and satisfies everyone's craving for good Italian food. —Erika Monroe-Williams, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour Cook: 50 min.
  • Makes
    10 servings (2-1/2 quarts)


  • 3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground veal or additional ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • SAUCE:
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine or beef broth
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • Hot cooked spaghetti
  • Additional grated Parmesan cheese


  • In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Add beef, pork and veal; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1-in. balls. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Brown meatballs in batches; drain.
  • In a 6-qt. stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 3-5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook and stir 3-5 minutes or until paste darkens. Add wine; cook and stir 2 minutes to dissolve any browned tomato paste.
  • Stir in tomatoes, parsley, sugar, salt, pepper and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 15-20 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Add basil and meatballs; cook 20-25 minutes longer or until meatballs are cooked through, stirring occasionally. Serve meatballs and sauce with spaghetti. Sprinkle with additional cheese.
Editor's Note
To make soft bread crumbs, tear bread into pieces and place in a food processor or blender. Cover and pulse until crumbs form. One slice of bread yields 1/2 to 3/4 cup crumbs.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup (calculated without pasta and additional cheese): 290 calories, 15g fat (4g saturated fat), 65mg cholesterol, 974mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 4g fiber), 18g protein.

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