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Spaghetti and Meatballs
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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(68 rated)
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This recipe was passed down from our Nonna and is a family tradition. Who doesn't love spaghetti and meatballs? There's a reason it's such a classic.

Technique tip: Use an ice cream scoop to make sure the meatballs are all around the same size.

Swap Option: Use ground turkey if you want to use a leaner meat.


  • Tomato sauce

    • Extra virgin olive oil
    • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 6 cups crushed tomatoes
    • 1/2 cup tomato puree
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Meatballs

    • 8 ounces ground beef
    • 8 ounces ground pork
    • 8 ounces ground veal
    • 1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
    • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 cup breadcrumbs
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
    • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
    • 2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • Salt and pepper
  • Assembly

    • 16 ounces spaghetti
    • 2 cups Parmigiano Reggiano, grated


For the tomato sauce:

In a large saucepan, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Add the chopped garlic and fry until golden. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato puree, stir well and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the chopped basil and stir.

For the meatballs:

In a large bowl, add all the meatball ingredients. Using your hands, mix them together well. The mixture should be soft but not too wet.

Shape the mixture in your hands and place each meatball on a tray to rest. Once all meatballs are all assembled, add them straight into the sauce one by one. They should be fully submerged in the sauce. Let them simmer in the sauce for at least 2 hours until ready to serve.

To assemble:

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente. Drain and add the sauce and meatballs to the spaghetti and mix well. Serve with Parmigiano Reggiano.

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