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Spaghetti and Meatballs

When there's time to simmer, this hearty sauce and home-style meatballs make a memorable main course, Dawnetta McGhee of Lewiston, Idaho suggests.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Cook: 3 hours
  • Makes
    6-8 servings


  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) tomato puree
  • 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 pound ground pork
  • 3/4 cup finely crushed saltines
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Hot cooked spaghetti


  • In a Dutch oven, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the next seven ingredients; mix well. Simmer, uncovered, for 1-1/2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, combine the beef, pork and cracker crumbs; set aside. In another bowl, combine eggs, garlic, Parmesan cheese and oregano; crumble meat mixture over egg mixture and blend well.
  • Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls; brown in a skillet, turning once. Add to sauce; simmer, uncovered 1-1/2 hours longer or until a thermometer reads 160°. Serve with spaghetti.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 298 calories, 15g fat (5g saturated fat), 147mg cholesterol, 1158mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 4g fiber), 20g protein.

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  • DoverR
    Nov 11, 2011

    I want to thank you so much for adding your recipe. (I'm almost in tears) My mother's spaghetti recipe was almost exactly like this (with the saltines in the meatballs) and she made huge meatballs. I have all her recipes but I guess this is one she knew by heart. I will try and make this asap. Hope I do it justice.

  • Ladiikay75
    Aug 10, 2010

    All other meatball recipe's use bread crumbs and during cooking the meat still falls apart. The crushed saltines idea has been the perfect one so far. Thank you Mrs. McGhee and TOH for printing this one. ;)

  • jillea
    Aug 14, 2009

    These are the best meatballs I have ever made. I didn't have saltines so used breadcrumbs and they were delicious! Even my kids liked them and they HATE my meatballs! Thank you!!