Spaghetti & Meatballs


Spaghetti & Meatballs

I very big part of me hopes and wishes that you read this blog post title as, “Spaghettiii and a Meat-a-balls!”

I feel like I just talked about my love of gangster movies a few weeks ago but I really do love that scene in Goodfellas where they’re all in jail and they’re like, who cares so what and cook up this like massive feast. Oh and that one guy slices the garlic with a razor blade. So unnecessary but so awesome.

The other day I was driving and had a very weird craving for spaghetti and a meat-a-balls! I mean, it’s not super unusual because I could subsist on pasta every single day, but the meatball part is. I never really think to make them, but whenever I do I’m like, why don’t I eat these everyday?! what is wrong with me?!

So, that my friends is what Los Angeles traffic will do to you: crave meatballs.

Spaghetti & Meatballs

I’m so glad that my timing to want/make/consume this dish happened now and not in a few months when the entire country will be sweating. I feel like this is the last time we’ll be able to have comforting dishes for a while and I’m sort of bummed about it. I’m not ready to eat popsicles for dinner. Not ready at all.

This whole shebang starts with the meatball forming. I like a good combination of ground pork and ground beef, but you could honestly do this with all pork or all ground beef.

Meatball forming might be one of the more therapeutic activities I’ve done all week. I was all zen-like in my kitchen yesterday.

This sauce is a riff on the famous Marcella Hazan tomato recipe that everyone and their mom loves. My version has a bit more ingredients.

I added a bit of fresh sage, some crushed red pepper (because I add it to everything in my life), butter and a seared onion. It’s easy, simple and delicious.

Do you save your parmesan rinds? Oh you should!

I always throw an old rind in tomato sauce or soups or whenever I’m making homemade chicken broth, which is like never, but I save them for that yet-to-happen-hypothetical-moment.

This is the kind of dish I want to eat like…every single day of my life. I’m not kidding. This and arroz con pollo and pancakes might be my favorite things to eat ever.

Spaghetti & Meatballs

Spaghetti & Meatballs



  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons dried fine bread crumbs
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoon freshly chopped sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 egg

Easy-Peasy Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 of a yellow onion
  • 1 28- ounce can of good quality tomatoes like San Marzano
  • 1 parmesan rind, optional
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 2-3 leaves fresh sage, bundled and tied together


  • In a small bowl, mix together the milk and bread crumbs.
  • To a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef and ground pork. Sprinkle the ground meat with salt and give it another mix.
  • In a medium sauté pan, placed over medium heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Carefully add the diced onion to the oil and cook until translucent and soft, about 5-7 minutes, being sure mix them every few minutes or so. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and add the minced garlic, Italian parsley, sage and crushed red pepper. Add the onion mixture to the bowl of meat. By this time, the whole milk and bread crumbs should be moistened; add it to the meat mixture, along with the grated parmesan and egg. Mix the meat mixture until completely combined, but being careful to not over mix. Using your hands, roll a few tablespoons (or 2 ounces) into a ball. Repeat until all meatballs are formed.
  • To sear the meatballs, add a few tablespoons of oil to the sauté pan (you can use the same one you just used--we're into saving dishes around here). When the oil is hot, gently add the meatballs and sear on all sides for about 1-2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer them to a bed of paper towels to drain. Repeat until you've seared all of the meatballs, adding more oil if the pan needs it.
  • To make the tomato sauce, add the olive oil to a dutch oven or medium pot. When the oil is hot, add the piece of onion and sear on both sides for 1-2 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Pour in the can of tomatoes, add the parmesan rind (if using), crushed red pepper, butter and sage bundle; mix, cover the pot and cook the tomato sauce over low heat for 30 minutes and until the kitchens smells awesome.
  • Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. To serve, toss the cooked pasta with a few big spoonfuls of sauce. Divide the pasta between bowls, top with a few meatballs and garnish with a sprinkling of Italian parsley and some Parmesan-Reggiano.

Easy-Peasy Tomato Sauce is a riff on Marzella Hazan's Tomato Sauce

    Did you make this recipe?Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen
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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply thecitygourmand April 12, 2013 at 1:53 am

    This is a never fail recipe in my repertoire as well but tend to only use one type of mince. Must try a blend next time 😉

  • Reply Elisa @ Insalata di Sillabe April 12, 2013 at 4:03 am

    I SO love reading your versions of typical Italian dishes, it’s truly interesting seeing how the cuisine of your own country is “translated” all over the world! Making spaghetti with meatballs on Sunday is a tradition for my family…we’ll try your recipe for sure!

    xo, Elisa

  • Reply Mandie @ Oh So Decadent April 12, 2013 at 4:44 am

    I’m not looking forward to the Popsicles for dinner either, I can always go for a spaghetti dinner, but it just doesn’t seem logical to eat when it’s 1018191 degrees outside. Thankfully it’s in the 30s again today on the east coast so we still have some time. I love the simplicity of your meatball recipe, it sounds delicious! Perfect for the last cold weather of the season :).

  • Reply Marie @ Little Kitchie April 12, 2013 at 5:12 am

    I’ll join you in eating this every single day – dinner PERFECTED.

  • Reply Bev @ Bev Cooks April 12, 2013 at 5:15 am


  • Reply Tieghan April 12, 2013 at 5:55 am

    This is perfect!! Currently it is a full on snow storm right now. All I want is comfort food and nothing beats pasta!

  • Reply Abby @ The Frosted Vegan April 12, 2013 at 6:18 am

    After having spaghetti for 4 months straight, once a week, I got reallllly tired of it, but this..this is making me crave it again!

  • Reply Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) April 12, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Oooh!! I didn’t make this exact version–but I have made Marcella Hazan’s meatballs (which I think are part of that recipe or at least on the next page) and they are fabulous. Yours look amazing too!

    Totally agree on the whole perplexing meatball phenomenon — I always forget to make them, love them when I do, only to forget to make them for another 12 months or so… 🙂

  • Reply Amanda - The Anti Mom April 12, 2013 at 6:55 am

    I could eat spaghetti and meatballs everyday!! now you have me craving it 🙂 looks sooo good, especially with that freshly shaved cheese!!

  • Reply Belinda @themoonblushbaker April 12, 2013 at 8:22 am

    I have always sort comfort in a bowl of spaghetti and meat ball. This is a wonderful recipe with such flavourful meat balls (I tried it tonight). thank you so much for sharing

  • Reply Allison April 12, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Despite being a rockin’ home cook, I still don’t have a go-to recipe for spaghetti and meat-a-balls. I cannot wait to try this one! Sounds fab!

  • Reply Jen @ Fresh from the... April 12, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I always seem to forget that I enjoy meatballs as well, though for some reason I pretty much never buy raw beef at the grocery. Ever. Oh well.

  • Reply joanna April 12, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    ahhh!! it is so rainy in philly today. all i want this a giant bowl of this tonight.

  • Reply Nicole April 12, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Spaghetti and meatballs just makes me think of this:

    But also, your version looks really good.

  • Reply dishing up the dirt April 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    It’s been far too long since I’ve had a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs! This looks delicious.

  • Reply M.C.@ ThousandStoryKitchen April 12, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    I love it when someone spends time on Spaghetti and Meatballs and gets it right! You made this look awesome. Can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply Kitty Quintana April 13, 2013 at 5:33 am

    I’m ready to dive in this pasta!!!

  • Reply kiersten April 13, 2013 at 7:58 am

    i totally read it as “spaghetti and a-meat-a-balls” !!!!!!!

    • Reply Adrianna April 13, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      Ha. Good. Very good.

  • Reply A Gathering of Links VII | Rachael Gathers | Rachael Gathers April 14, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    […] From A Cozy Kitchen, because who doesn’t love spaghetti and meatballs? […]

  • Reply anna @ annamayeveryday April 15, 2013 at 10:45 am

    This looks delicious which is no mean feat as spaghetti and meatballs isn’t the easiest to get a good photograph of (I’ve tried) well done you, really makes me want to try these!

  • Reply Tina April 16, 2013 at 5:55 am

    Dude love the simplicity of this. That sauce is killer love love love!!

  • Reply Katie @ Blonde Ambition April 16, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Such wonderful photos! Growin’ up with an Italian mama, comfort dishes to me always include pasta and tomato sauce. Always.

  • Reply Lauren April 18, 2013 at 5:06 am

    Did you blend the sauce before you served it? I used San Marzano diced tomatoes, and it just didn’t feel right.
    LOVED the meatballs…I learned the milk + breadcrumbs trick on FoodNetwork–works every time!!

  • Reply Jara Nachbar April 18, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    i’m making this recipe RIGHT now and, i’ll tell ya, my whole house smells incredible and the sauce just started to cook. i’m thrilled to eat this! spaghetti and meatballs is my favorite dinner ever 🙂 thanks A!

  • Reply Lisa December 16, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Good blog post. I absolutely appreciate this site. Thanks!

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  • Reply Faye October 24, 2014 at 3:55 am

    Your recipe looks sensational!

  • Reply Dutch meat balls April 6, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Spaghetti Meatballs, no doubt this will be my kids target for today evening snacks as they love spaghetti very much and when its mix with meat ball then no doubt it will be rich like heaven…..Will try this and let you know how well they enjoyed it!

    Last day I made Dutch Meat Balls got the Idea from the website:

    Oh! my god…..believ me it was really a succelent dish…