Mama Mia! World's Best Spaghetti and Meatballs

Buon giorno! I have a real taste treat that you're going to flip for.  You'll throw away all your other spaghetti sauce and meatball recipes once you try this. I did. My daughter turned me onto a similar recipe a few years ago. I've made a couple changes and added the best yummy meatballs to make it even more special. Both are wonderfully spiced as written in the recipe so don't hold back. A dear true Italian friend, Lu taught me years ago to always "fry" your tomato paste a few minutes before adding the other wet ingredients. She said true Italians never use "raw" tomato paste in their cooking. It adds a depth to your sauce. Lu, if you're reading this from heaven, ciao!

For browning the meats, have you seen this Mix 'n Choptool from Pampered Chef? It makes light work of breaking up meat for cooking. Even the men in the family freak out if they can't find their "meat tool".  I ordered mine on a recommendation and love it! Great gift idea for 10 bucks. Speaking of breaking up the meat, in general I'm kinda' of a "if less if good, then more would be better" girl. Don't do it. I've done it and it makes things mushy. You gotta' know when to stop.

Also, you know to never cook with a wine that you wouldn't drink, right? My parents weren't wine drinkers so I didn't grow up cooking with wine. But lo and behold, there isn't hardly anything that a good wine doesn't make better. And now I cook with it too. :)  Any decent red wine will do. I've used cabernet and merlot and like both those. Use your favorite robust red.

For the herbs for both recipes, fresh is great when you have it in the summer but I don't go to the extra expense in the winter. I always like the Muir Glen brand tomatoes. You can find them on sale (4/$5) to make them comparable to other brands.

This recipe is special enough to serve to company, just make sure you make copies of the recipe. I always double both recipes and put several containers in the freezer. It is my husband's favorite go-to dinner. I wish I had smell-a-vision for you - the house smells delicious! Without further ado, here is Mama's Famous Spaghetti and Meatballs.

 World's Best Meatballs
8-10 meatballs

1 lb ground beef
1/2 C dried seasoned bread crumbs
4 large eggs
1/2 C whole milk
3/4 C grated romano cheese
3 Tbls diced red onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbls parsley
4 Tblsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp black pepper

(to double the recipe, double everything except use just 6 eggs)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or spray lightly with cooking spray.

Mix all ingredients in large bowl with your hands, thoroughly but with a light hand. Can add more bread crumbs if it seems loose. You're going for a firm consistency that will just pack but not dense.

Roll meatballs size of small softball, pack but again use as light a hand as possible and place on baking sheet.

Bake for 40 minutes. Add to spaghetti sauce. Don't worry if not completely done, they will finish cooking in the sauce.

Mama's Famous Spaghetti Sauce
makes enough for 4-6 with leftovers

1 lb ground beef
1 lb Italian sausage (I use the hot)
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
12 oz tomato paste
28 oz can diced tomatoes
30 oz tomato sauce
rinse out all the cans with about 1/3 can water and add water to pot
12 oz sliced mushrooms
3 tsp basil
2 tsp parsley
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (I use more, but we like it spicy)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/3 C red wine

Brown the meats, breaking up into small bite size bits. Add onions and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook for a minute. Stir in tomato paste and "fry" for 2-3 minutes until just beginning to brown.

Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and water. Add mushrooms, basil, parsley, brown sugar, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper and wine. Stir well and bring to a simmer. When the meatballs are done baking, add them to the sauce. Stir carefully from now on to not break up the meatballs. Simmer low and slow 2-3 hours.

I serve with garlic bread and an Italian salad (greens, garbanzo beans, sliced olives, pepperoni, croutons) and don't forget the rest of that bottle of wine you opened. Mangia!


Cathy Schaefer said...

I've had this wonderful meal and it is delish! Those meatballs are definitely the best I've ever had! YUMMMMMM


Anonymous said...

So you cook the meatball recipe and add those to the sauce which also has meat in it? Is this right? said...

yes, cook the meatballs but I leave them a little undercooked because they will finish cooking in the sauce. I have seen some recipes that put uncooked meatballs in sauce to cook but personally, can't bring myself to put raw meat into sauce. Thanks for your question!

Anonymous said...

Love this meat sauce! Made it a couple of times and my family loves it too! Thanks.