These are the best spaghetti and meatballs I have ever had! To make the meatballs, I have combined the best of 2 of Bon Appetit recipes with the ingredients and instructions to fit my family’s tastes. I have also used my own Marinara recipe which I believe is absolutely the best. This dish takes time but it is well worth it and we always have some leftover. If you are pressed for time you could make the dish over a couple of days making the French bread and marinara sauce the first day, then the meatballs on day two, then put it all together for dinner. If I can find them I prefer using rustichella d’abruzzo Italian spaghetti noodles. I used their spaghettini for this dish. I highly recommend using similar ingredients as listed in the recipe and making the French bread from my website for the bread crumbs for the meatballs to get the best results. Here is the link for the French bread. Enjoy!
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves pressed or smashed and finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cane sugar I like to use two la Perruche sugar cubes
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves + 1/4 cup more to stir into the sauce once it has finished cooking
- 2 28 ounce cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 rind of parmesan cheese + a few shavings of parmesan cheese
- Add the extra-virgin olive oil to a medium-sized saucepan. Add the onions and sauté the onions over medium heat until lightly golden. Add the garlic, garlic powder, sugar, sea salt, and fresh basil leaves and sauté about 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes and parmesan cheese rind and shavings (optional).
- Bring the sauce to a simmer, and simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes until the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened. Stir the sauce a few times while it cooks. Break up the tomatoes with a potato masher. At end of cooking, pull out the basil and parmesan cheese rind. Add the remaining fresh basil. Set the sauce aside.
- 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs using fresh bread from a loaf of French broken apart into small pieces see my recipe for French bread in the “Breads” section of this website
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 10 ounces ground Wagyu or 15% fat ground beef
- 8 ounces hot Italian sausage
- 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 3 large garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 cup all-purpose flour for coating the meatballs just before frying
- 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil divided for frying the meatballs
- 1 pound spaghetti or spaghettini + 1 tablespoon butter to coat the noodles once they are finished cooking and have been drained I used rustichella d'abruzzo spaghettini
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil torn for serving
- Place the bread pieces in a small bowl containing the 1/2 cup of whole milk. Allow the bread to soak in the milk for about 10 minutes.
- While the bread is soaking add the ground beef, Italian sausage, parmesan cheese, fennel seeds, dried oregano, nutmeg, salt, eggs, and garlic cloves to a large bowl and set it aside.
- Wring out the bread to remove some of the milk (after wringing it out, the bread will still have some milk left in it) and add it to the large bowl containing the ground beef mixture.
- Gently combine the ingredients with your hands (don’t over-mix) until just combined. Form the meatballs into golf-ball sized meatballs of to the size of your choosing. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill for about 1 hour (If you don’t have time, chill the meatballs for a minimum of 15 minutes).
- Get your pasta water boiling and cook your spaghetti according to package instructions timing the spaghetti so it is done about when your meatballs are done.
- Once the meatballs have chilled, add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil to a large-sized cast-iron skillet and warm the oil over medium heat. Add 1/2 of the meatballs to the skillet (you will brown the meatballs in 2 separate batches). Cook the meatballs until they are golden and a thermometer registers 145 degrees F. Remove the oil and add 1 more tablespoon olive oil. Cook the second batch. Add the meatballs to your marinara sauce and stir to coat them with the sauce.
- Serve the meatballs and marinara on top of the spaghetti and garnish with some parmesan cheese and freshly torn basil leaves.
Adapted from: “BA’s Best Spaghetti and Meatballs,” October 2017 and Bon Appetit’s “Spaghetti and Meatballs,” October 2010. https://www.bonappetit.com