Spaghetti is one basic pasta type that I always have in my pantry, and I think if I have to choose only 1 pasta to keep, it will be Spaghetti. This meatballs spaghetti pasta is one of my favorite pasta. I’ve made this quite a lot of times already even more so when I started making my own baked and stuffed meatballs. I’m just seriously crazy about it, I even have a separate post Homemade Cheese Stuffed Meatballs just for that. Except for the pasta, both the meatballs and sauce are homemade and they can be both make ahead of time so it’s very convenient.
The meatballs were made from ground lamb but a combination of beef and pork will work too. I have great tips on how to make tender juicy meatballs in my Homemade Cheese Stuffed Meatballs post, check it out. The pasta sauce is my Homemade 1 Step Instant Pasta Sauce, so easy to make for something so flavorful and you can make different variations by just using that base pasta sauce. I guess all we have to do here is to enjoy it. Let’s get started!
- Pasta Sauce. I used my Homemade 1 Step Instant Pasta Sauce
- 250g Spaghetti Pasta – cooked as per package instruct ions
- 4 large meatballs – I used my Homemade Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
Let’s Make the Pasta Sauce
- 3 cups (796 ml, 28 oz) canned diced tomato
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 medium size white onion – cut into quarter
- 1 1/4 tsp salt – adjust as needed
- 1/4 tsp pepper – adjust as needed
- 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning or a combination of Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme will work too
- 2 tsp granulated white sugar
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 cloves minced garlic
Note: You can also use fresh tomatoes but you will need to add water or vegetable broth when you simmer it, about 2 cups of broth.
- Put all ingredients in a large pot then cover and simmer for about 45 – 60 minutes (medium heat) or until the sauce is reduced to your liking. Stir from time to time to avoid tomato sticking in the bottom of the pan. In the last 15 minutes of cooking, reduce heat to low heat. Season and adjust as needed.
Let’s Make the Meatballs
- 1/2 kg ground meat – combination of 50% beef and 50% pork (you can play with the ratio and you can also use all beef or all lamb)
- 1 small onion finely chopped (about 145g)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp panko or tempura bread crumbs
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/4 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 medium size jalapeno pepper – seeded and chopped into small pieces – optional
- 1/2 tbsp. dried parsley or 1 tsp fresh minced parsley
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 5 tbsp milk
- 2 oz cube or shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray.
- Spices Mixture: Heat pan, add oil and saute onion and garlic until fragrant. Add salt, peppers and parsley and cook for another minute.
- Milk and bread crumbs mixture: In a small bowl, mix milk and bread crumbs. Set aside.
- Add onion and garlic mixture into the ground meat, then add milk and bread crumbs mixture. Mix until well combined. Do not overwork. Ste aside and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, can also be left overnight in the refrigerator just make sure to have it in a covered container.
- Scoop 1/3 cup portion and divide into 2. Create a hollow in one of the portion and stuff it with cheese then cover with the other half. Roll into your palm and shape into a ball. Arrange in a baking sheet with high side (not the flat cookie sheet). The oil and water will come out of the meatballs as it bakes and having something to block it from dripping is less messy.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 – 30 minutes, or until meatballs are browned and cooked through. Alternatively, you can also deep dry the meat balls for about 2-3 minutes.
- For freezing: I like to pre-bake only the meatballs when I am going to freeze it. Just enough for the meat to discolor, about 20-30 minutes. I do this so that when I use it for my pasta, or other dish, it will not dry out when cook or bake again. When ready to use, bake at 350F for another 10-25 minutes.
- For immediate use: Bake 30-40 minutes or until the meatballs turns brown.
Makes 7 meatballs (130g each or 1/3 cup) or more if made in smaller portions.
Both the meatballs and pasta sauce can be made-ahead of time. Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use. I have make-ahead notes in Homemade Cheese Stuffed Meatballs and Homemade 1 Step Instant Pasta Sauce posts.
Once you have the 3 main ingredients spaghetti pasta, pasta sauce and meatballs, you are now ready to serve it. Add as much or less sauce as you like then add a sprinkle of cheese on top to make it extra special. There you go! Another delicious, simple and easy meal idea that can be made ahead of time.
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