clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs

  • Author: adapted from NYTimes (and others)
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Units Scale
  • Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sauce
  • 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes (with juices)
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. dry spaghetti
  • parmesan, for serving


  1. Combine the ingredients from beef through egg in a bowl. Gently, using your fingers, mix it all together. If you have time, let the meat rest for 20 minutes. If not, proceed!
  2. Form the meat into golf-ball-sized balls. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs in batches, letting the first side get very brown and crispy before turning to cook the other sides. Once the outside is brown (don't worry about the inside) remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Once all of the meatballs have been browned, turn the heat down to medium-low. In a blender, combine the tomatoes, basil, red pepper flakes, and salt. Blend until smooth.
  4. Add the final 2 Tbsp of olive oil to the pan and cook the minced garlic cloves for 1 minute before adding the blended tomato mixture. When you add the tomatoes, scrape the pan vigorously to remove any scraps left from browning the meat.
  5. Bring the sauce to a simmer, and let cook for 10 minutes before adding the meatballs to the sauce.
  6. Let the meatballs cook in the simmering sauce for 15 minutes. During this time, cook your pasta fully.
  7. Serve hot over pasta, garnished with parmesan cheese!