Print Recipe

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD


For meatballs:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 slices white bread
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 onion grated
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh parsley or 1 tbsp dried
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For sauce:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 28- oz cans diced or whole tomatoes with juice
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh basil
  • 1 lb spaghetti I used whole wheat
  • grated parmesan for serving


  • Place milk and eggs in a medium bowl and beat to combine. Tear bread into small pieces and stir into milk mixture. Let stand until milk is combined and bread is falling apart, about 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine ground beef, grated onion, parmesan, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add soaked bread and use your hands to gently, but thoroughly, combine. Form the mixture into 1-1/2" balls, about the size of golf balls.
  • Heat oil in a dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When shimmering hot, add half of the meatballs in a single layer and brown on all sides (they'll be cooked through later). Gently transfer to a plate, and repeat with remaining meatballs.

To make sauce:

  • Wipe out the dutch oven with a paper towel and add remaining olive oil along with onion. Cook on medium heat until onion is soft and translucent, but not browning, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute more. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Puree the sauce with an immersion blender or with a regular blender (in batches, unless it has steam vents for pureeing hot foods). Return sauce to pot and gently add meatballs. Simmer over medium-low for about 25 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through and sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt, and stir in basil just before serving.
  • Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in salted, boiling water until al dente according to package directions. Serve spaghetti topped with sauce and meatballs, with a showering of freshly grated parmesan.