i want me some meatballs and spaghetti

Let’s start the great debate! Do you twirl or slurp? (his/her answer revealed at the end)

On the days when I want to do nothing and just lounge and enjoy the warm summer sun, I like to make pasta. Spaghetti and meatballs make the perfect lazy summer day meal.

Like Sandra Lee, I used to cheat and buy premade bottles of sauce from Trader Joe’s. But, that was until I found this simple recipe for tomato sauce that only needed three ingredients to make. That’s amazing, right?! I am more health conscious these days and would much rather cook than buy it premade…especially if it’s easy and does not require much time. I would like to thank Marcella Hazan for creating this brilliant recipe. This was the perfect recipe for my first foray into sauce making.

As for the meatballs, easy-peasy! The best part was squishing all the ingredients with the meat and of course, making them into balls!

But the hardest part for me has always been time management…like what should I cook first, should I do this now or later, but I want it all to be done at the same time, etc. etc. By this point, I’m sure you all understand the anxiety I feel when planning a meal.

Well, here’s what I did!

First cook the spaghetti…

While the pasta’s cooking, start mixing the meatball mixture and assembling them into balls…

it was so cold, but I loved squishing it!

roll the meatballs roughly to the size of a golf ball

By now, the pasta should be done cooking so drain it and start making the sauce…

these noodles were just waiting to be covered in yummy sauce!

one can of whole tomatoes, onion, and butter

When the sauce is cooking, pop those balls into the oven. After 30 minutes, your meatballs will be done. I decided to let my sauce simmer a little bit longer so it can soak up the onion…

meatballs done!

while the sauce is simmering, mash the tomatoes and onion to get all those yummy juices out

Once the sauce is done, toss in the spaghetti. If the sauce comes out a little runny, my kitchen tip is to add some cheese into the sauce to thicken it up.

toss toss toss

top with meatballs and serve! :)

Baked Meatballs (adapted from How Sweet it Is)

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup of panko bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Mix all the ingredients. If the meatball mixture is a bit too mushy or loose add more bread crumbs.
  3. Roll into bite sized meatballs and place onto the baking sheet.
  4. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onions (adapted from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking)
  • 28 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peel and halved
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • dash of oregano
  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add all the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and keep at a steady simmer. While it’s simmering, mash the tomatoes and onion.
  3. Cook for 45 minutes, or until droplets of fat float free of the tomatoes. Stir occasionally. Discard the onion. Keep it covered until ready to serve.
OH! By the way, she twirls and he slurps :)
one of my favorite scenes from Friends

56 thoughts on “i want me some meatballs and spaghetti

  1. thanks for sharing this one. I make similar one as a quick variation when I’m short on time :) love the idea of baked meatballs, need to make some any time soon!

  2. Hi there, you left a comment on my blog about needing some tips for getting more traffic. Well, I’m no expert I’ve only been doing this for a year in September but I joined Foodbuzz, a foodblogging community, that gets you a lot more friends/traffic. I also found that if you comment on other foodie bogs they will visit or comment on yours and maybe subscribe too, which is what you need. Mainly though, take it slowly to begin with, do what you love and learn as you go. It’s a really friendly and positive community to be a part of. Enjoy & good luck!!

  3. Great recipe. An oldie but a goodie from Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking and a classic scene from Friends! The simplicity and flavor of the sauce reminds you that in Italy sauce is considered a condiment and should not over power the pasta.

  4. Great post! Timing things is always the tricky part of cooking a meal. :) It comes pretty naturally to me, so I don’t think about it, but if my husband makes breakfast? That’s another story. ;-)

    Oh, and I cut my spaghetti, so neither option! lol

  5. Love the sauce recipe! I’m definitely going to have to try this out, it looks so simple! Now I’m hungry… is 10am too early for spaghetti and meatballs? :)

    1. Yes, unbelievably delicious! Marcella’s sauce is definitely a great base sauce. The next time I make it, I can’t wait to add more ingredients into it! I would love to know what your variation is! And thank you for the sweet comment :)

  6. Love the friends clip! Your dish looks delicious! I will have to try your sauce. Baking the meatballs sure seems a lot easy that stove top!

    1. healthier too, right? i love that i didn’t have to drown my meatballs in grease just to cook them! thank you so much :)

    1. i agree, meatballs make wonderful comfort food. thank you for sharing your recipe! will definitely give it a try the next time I make meatballs :)

  7. Thanks for your comment! These look great :) I’ve never baked meatballs before, I might have to give it a go!

    P.S. I twirl, I have no idea how people slurp without getting sauce all over their face/hair.

  8. That sounds so simple! Mine was a bit more complicated I guess, but I love sauces that don’t take 6 hours to simmer. The meatballs sound yummy with all those spices, so I think I’ll try mixing up a good meat substitute. Thanks!!

  9. Now that’s a great simple recipe. It certainly is healthier to bake your meatballs. I tend to get really involved in the kitchen when it comes to cooking, so simple recipes can often take hours and involve many ingredients. Ultimately, it all comes down to KISS – keep it simple, silly! :-) Thanks for reaching out!

  10. Thanks for commenting on my blog :) Those meatballs looks yummy. I’m soon going to try to make home made pasta.

    1. thank you for your sweet words! i will definitely be using this sauce more often since I’m always craving pasta! oh carbs, why sooo good but so bad at the same time :)

  11. I love Marcella’s recipes as well as her son’s Guilliano. I have no idea, if I spelled that correctly. For simple recipes, he has a book out Thirty Days or Thirty Meals. I am sorry but I don’t remember the name. If you are interested, let me know and I will get the correct title.
    The book is filled with simple recipes using food that is easy to get or that you can substitute. There are some recipes online from the book. You have to go to their website to find them.

    Good luck with your cooking. Looks good to me.

  12. Thanks for sharing too :) It looks simple yet so delicious! I already entered your recipe into my list of “must try” recipes. And i TWIRL! Slurping is too messy for me :)

  13. Wow I love your meal ball! It looks very nice! Thank you for sharing your recepi and thanks also for visiting my blog! Hope to see you around! May i add your blog into my blogroll? Thanks!

    1. Oh my goodness! Are you serious? Of course you can add me to your blogroll! May I do the same? You are so so sweet! You put a huge smile on my face today :)

      1. Of course you can. Thank you and hope to see more post from you soon! Have a nice day:)

  14. Hi, and thanks for your comments and for checking out my blog at http://bitsandbreadcrumbs.wordpress.com/. I, too, am pretty new to blogging and am having lots of fun. Your site looks great—my husband LOVES meatballs and spaghetti, and I never make it for him because the meatballs seem like so much trouble. I’m going to try your recipes here, they look delicious and easy. Here’s a link to an article that you might find helpful in blogging: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2011/02/food-blogging-food-blog/, and I also like Molly Wizenberg’s Orangette. I like to see how the pros do it and find their passion inspiring. Best of luck to you!

  15. Hi Kat, I liked your post: warm, friendly and informative. Not that familiar with Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce, probably because I’m based in the UK. That looks really simple to make, didn’t realise that other people used butter instead of olive oil in their tomato sauce, must be pretty tasty! What do you do with the discarded onion? Seems a pity to let it go to waste! I add finely chopped onion to my tomato sauce and when it’s reduced, it’s very adaptable for bolognaise sauce and other pasta sauces, got my blogpost on making meatballs with homemade tomato sauce here, check it out: http://yumyumpiggysbum.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/magnificent-meatballs-with-tomato-sauce/
    Thanks for your comment on my blog :-)

    1. I know, it’s such a waste to get rid of a perfectly good onion! That was my first time making the sauce. Next time I’m planning to dice the onion and cook it in the sauce so I don’t have to discard the onion. Love the title of your bum! :)

  16. Hey looks pretty good. You asked for some tips; I would say watch out for your backgrounds like the first shot, try to use as little flash as possible, and mess around with the macro setting on your camera. Otherwise good ideas and procedures. We try to recreate things that we have had at restaurants, follow straight popular recipes, and come up with new ideas combining what we have learned over time. Good luck and lets plan to follow each other.


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