Whenever I think of spaghetti and meatballs I start to sing, “On top of spagheeeti, all covered with cheeeese, I lost my poor meeetball when somebody sneeeezed.” I don’t know why I do this but it comes into my head every single time and I sing the whole song. Maybe because I lived in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains for a long time?
John would only eat pasta if it was drowning in seafood so I only got to eat dishes like this when he was away. I’m sure he’s secretly grateful I don’t plonk this on his table and say, “It’s this or nothing, big fella.”
Meatballs are close friends of mine and while spaghetti can be awkward to eat, I do think of Lady and the Tramp when I roll the first bite. With no husband to take the other end of the spaghetti, my life remains one long line of nostalgic instances. I make my meatballs rather small to fit in my rather small mouth but they can be any size. If I were making meatballs for a sandwich, I’d make them bigger.
I make my meatballs and put them on a foil lined baking tray sprayed with cooking oil and bake only until they are browned. They will finish cooking in the sauce.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 x 400g (14oz) tins of chopped plum tomatoes
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 bottle (680grams) passata or tomato puree
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ tsp Tabasco sauce
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 150 mls red wine (about 5fl oz)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 250 grams (1/2 pound) beef mince (ground beef)
- 250 grams (1/2 pound) pork mince (ground pork)
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or minced
- 50 grams (1/2 cup) dry bread crumbs
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup finely grated fresh parmesan cheese (not out of a can)
- 500 grams (16 oz) dried spaghetti
- In a large sauce pot, add the olive oil, onion and garlic and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. You don't want to burn the garlic or brown the onions.
- Add the red wine and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes and passata/puree and mix well.
- Add sugar, dried basil, Tabasco sauce and salt and stir to combine.
- Simmer on low heat for 1½ hours then add the meatballs and continue to simmer for another hour.
- This is more sauce than you'll need but I make this much and freeze what I don't use.
- Preheat oven 200C/400F
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix with bare hands for best results
- Wet hands and shape meatballs about the size of a golf ball and place on a baking sheet that's been covered with tin foil and sprayed with cooking oil.
- Bake for about 15 minutes until the meatballs are nicely browned (they will continue to cook in the sauce)
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, add the dried spaghetti and cook for 13 minutes until al dente. Drain.
- Serve spaghetti with sauce and top with meatballs and shaved Parmesan cheese on top.
Update on Charlie. No more conehead and no more boots but he still has on the compression shirt. His stitches come out on Friday. We won’t go into all the infection and trouble we had with the vet. He’s better now and that’s all that matters.
Chris Scheuer says
This looks fantastic. I wish we were neighbors, I’d gladly take John’s spot. Not so sure about being on the other end of the pasta though 🙂
Shea Goldstein says
Absolutely beautiful Maureen!! One of my favorite comfort dishes – love your recipe.
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Oh nice to see a pic of Charlie. We almost bought a dog on the weekend-almost! It was so adorable and I made the mistake of picking it up and well…
Anyway I love both spaghetti and meatballs and together they’re magic. And now I have that song in my head! 😛
Stephanie - The Dessert Spoon says
My daughter loves spaghetti and meatballs. I should try this version for her!
Glad to see Charlie is better.
Lovely photos too!
Sugar et al. says
Love spaghetti and meatballs! We order them for my boys at most restaurants since they are a part of the Kid’s meals but it’s me finishing them always. These look DIVINE, and juicier and larger. I love that song too:-)
Your free-floating memories of spaghetti are just fabulous! I had never seen the entire lyrics to “On top of spaghetti…” and was very glad to know there were more.
best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com
Helene D'Souza says
Ah that’s a plate from heaven, hot and super tempting.
I know my man would love your meatballs 😉
Glad to see and read that Charlie is better. I bet his mummy is treating him super well. =)
If Charlie ever comes up missing know that he’s in the states with me…he is so precious!! love that face! Ok I cannot eat spaghetti and meatballs with out singing that song…this made me LOL! Now i’m hungry for spag&balls!!
I love meatballs and yours look delicious . My man will eat meatballs but there are many things he will not eat. I’m glad Charlie is feeling better, he looks better.
I LOOOOVE a good bowl of spaghetti and meatballs and this one looks perfect. Beautiful shot Maureen!
Ohhh my goodness!!! I am so hungry now , just looking at your meatballs Maureen. Love the tip of baking until brown and then finishing off cooking in the sauce. Will certainly use from now on. Thanks for sharing
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
Oh Maureen – I’ve missed a few of your posts I am so sorry to have heard about Charlie – but so glad he is better! Hey – maybe Charlie could be your “tramp” the next time you have a long string of spaghetti? 🙂
Dorothy Dunton says
Hi Maureen! I usually make a Ragu Bolognese, but when I do make meatballs I bake them on a rimmed sheet pan with a little beef broth and they come out nicely browned and juicy! A few years ago I discovered bucatini which is what I always use now. Charlie definitely looks happier not being a “conehead”! 🙂
wow, I’m going to try adding some beef broth next time!
Hi Maureen, when my husband travels I eat all my favorite foods too!! Anyway, your pasta dish looks delicious. Glad Charlie is feeling better.
Mary Frances says
Maureen your pasta looks to die for! Simple with a perfect balance of flavors, I love it.
Veronica (Roni) says
Me too Maureen….I love that song! Dutifully passed onto the grandchildren…..:))
As always, the photos are magnificent.
And good to see a more naked Charlie :)) xx
Glad to hear that Charlie’s doing well. That’s a nice comfort dish, isn’t it?
Eva Taylor says
What a delicious looking dish, Maureen. My mom always mixed her meats, often using beef and pork for her meatballs. I did a recipe for a local restaurant promoting their cookbook that also had pork belly, boy were they RICH! The sauce was similar to your sauce but they also added La Bomba which is a delicious combo of flavours and spice, just enough to add a bit of heat to the rich sauce. Glad to see Charlie is doing better.
Happy Charlie is better! I wish my cats would pose nicely like that! I don’t think I know this song but love the classic spaghetti and meatballs, gorgeous pics make it look like a new idea. I am overdue to make some.
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
Oh how I love a good bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. I usually just make the recipe up but have had a few fails. Shall give yours a go next time. So glad Charlie is recovering well.
Suzy | The Mediterranean Dish says
Maureen, I too think of Lady and the Tramp when I see a hearty bowl of spaghetti and meatballs! It’s the sweetest thing. I think your recipe is fabulous. Definitely pinning to try it soon. Glad Charlie is doing better!
Liz (Good Things) says
Nothing like a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs!
Very glad to hear that Charlie is on the mend! And you’re much more ambitious than I am when the husband is gone. I just make popcorn for dinner and pretend I’m Olivia Pope. Minus most of the drama. lol Your spaghetti and meatballs are making me hungry. They look and sound fabulous!
Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic says
Spaghetti and meatballs is one of my favorite comfort foods of all time. This looks perfect.
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
So glad Charlie is on the mend – the looks much better and I adore this big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs – and now I have to thank you for sticking that song in my head – it will take days to forget it! haha!
LOL, I haven’t thought of that song forever!! You meatballs look heavenly, I am salivating!!
The Ninja Baker says
You are the best, Maureen! Love your spaghetti song…I’d completely forgotten the childhood fave. Lady and the Tramp is very much front and center when spaghetti is served. And your petite meatballs baked until brown in the oven look to be the perfect protein companion for spaghetti =)
Norma Chang says
What a delicious bowl of meatballs and spaghetti, one of my favorite meals. Just finished dinner but I could polish off that bowl without any problem. Glad to learn Charlie is getting better.
Nancy | Plus Ate Six says
Meatballs are my comfort food too 🙂 I love your touch of Tabasco in the sauce and drool worthy photos.
I love spaghetti and meatballs any way, any where, and any time! This looks scrumptious. Makes me hungry even though I am still stuffed from dinner.
John@Kitchen Riffs says
I haven’t thought of that song in years and years! I don’t often make meatballs for some reason. Like them, a lot, but I’m more a meat sauce kind of guy. Really need to make some, though. Love them in sandwiches! Glad Charlie is doing OK — nice picture of him.
Kaylene @ The Links Site says
Wow I haven’t thought of that song since school, I’m sure I’ll be humming it all afternoon now 🙂
Your spaghetti and meatballs look awesome, I love pasta dishes like this!
GiGi Eats says
Can’t even remember the last time I had a spaghetti and meat ball recipe. I really, truly miss spaghetti! But spaghetti squash is a pretty awesome replacement!
David Crichton says
Good to see Charlie looking as healthy as he is.
The meatballs look great, I’ve never made them before. Don’t know why, as I often make my own burgers. I’ll give the mixture a go for my next burger.
Your hubby does not like pasta!!! This is a first for me. I’ve never heard of anyone who does not like pasta.. lucky guy :). Loved your mini meatballs look so cute. Good to know that Charlie is getting better.
Amy (Savory Moments) says
Perfection! One of my favorite meals!
Krista Bjorn says
You made me chuckle this morning with your spaghetti singing. 🙂 There are foods I make just for me when Bear is away too. 🙂 SO glad Charlie is doing better. XO
Barbara @ Barbara Bakes says
Your spaghetti and meatballs looks irresistible to me. I can’t imagine anyone not liking it. I’ll gladly come share it with you 🙂
Glad adorable Charlie is better.
I haven’t made meatballs in a long time. I know my boys would love a whole bowlful of this goodness. Delicious Maureen. Hope you are doing well and have a great week.
GoPro tips says
Yes, yes this looks so yummy !
Ruby @ Ruby & Cake says
Spaghetti and meatballs are my sisters and I comfort food. I make them when one of us is sad and we watch disney haha – yours looks so beautiful and rounds and I just want a big plate of them right now.
I had no idea there were lyrics to the spagetti and meatball song after “”was nothing but mush”!
Hotly Spiced says
It’s the same here where I crave it and want to cook it for dinner but everyone else is screaming, ‘No carbs at night’. Your first image of the meatballs is a stunner! It could be on the cover of a foodie magazine. I love meatballs and your recipe looks packed with flavour. I’m so glad Charlie no longer has to wear the cone or the booties and that he’s making a good recovery. I’m sure the time he’s been ill has been challenging. My Rosie still has her stitches in and I have to take her to the vet on Wednesday to have them taken out. Not sure if I told you but they told me she has pulmonary hypertension so needs to be on heart tablets. If the tablets don’t work she will have to go on viagra. Yep, true story. Apparently viagra was created as a treatment for PH but then they found it worked on other areas! xx
I learn the most interesting things from you, Charlie! I hope Rosie is feeling better. I suppose that’s where ‘feeling frisky’ comes from? 🙂
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
I thought the whole world liked spaghetti and meatballs. How could John resist a bowl of that delicious goodness?
My Kitchen Stories says
I have come back a few times just to stare at that picture of the spaghetti and meatballs . So perfect looking. What an unusual man you have there Maureen, He must be the only man I know that doesnt like pasta. My fav is spaghettini. Cant get enough of it.
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) says
What is it with men and pasta – JR doesn’t like either so we hardly ever have it or I wait until I’m cooking for myself:-) This looks sooooooooooo good Maureen.
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
Spaghetti and meatballs is such a classic and your take on them looks wonderful!
Helen | Grab Your Fork says
I lovelovelove spaghetti meatballs. So much more satisfying than spag bol!
Jess @ whatjessicabakednext says
These spaghetti and meatballs look delicious, Maureen! Such a classic dish – this looks super comforting!
Amanda (@lambsearshoney) says
Well this looks divine – John doesn’t know what he’s missing. Glad to see Charlie is on the mend.
Aw, I’m glad Charlie is doing better. And your spaghetti and meatballs look perfect. I like the idea of baking the meatballs first—frying makes such a mess 🙂
Anna @ shenANNAgans says
Spaghetti and meatballs is like the best dinner EVA. I had a tough day on Monday, as soon as I got home meatball production began, the feast of pasta with balls of meat soaked in delicious red sauce was amaze and super comforting too. Ohhhhh how I love it. 🙂
Your photos are lovely, I find it difficult to make meat dishes pop.
And Charlie looks snazzy in his compression shirt, I am pleased he is doing better. Having an unwell animal is most distressing.
Surely John would be a pasta convert with meatballs looking this good! “It’s meatballs or nothing, big fella!”
Wendi Spraker says
Maureen – these just look fabulous – and now at 8:30 in the morning I am suddenly starving!