Homemade Italian Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs

Julia Ferguson


This is my family's recipe. My mother always made this for our birthday dinner. It's one of those recipes that needs to cook all day. So one of these winter days when you don't want to get out and you want something hearty and flavorful make this for your family. The aroma coming from the kitchen will keep their stomachs growling all day. But well worth the agony and wait.
My mom always served this with an Anitpasta Salad and Garlic Bread.


★★★★★ 3 votes

This make a lot, and enough to freeze for later.
1 Hr
6 Hr
Stove Top


Add to Grocery List

****spaghetti sauce:******
olive oil (enough to just cover the bottom of the pan)
3-5 clove
garlic peeled
3-4 6 oz can(s)
tomato paste
2-3 28 oz can(s)
tomato sauce
1-2 28oz can(s)
tomato puree
1 Tbsp
italian seasoning
1/2 - 1 Tbsp
garlic powder
1 tsp
ground black pepper
bay leaves
salt, to taste (the parmesean cheese at the end will add to the saltyness as well)
1 pinch
1-2 large
handful of parmesean cheese, at the end
2-3 lb
ground sirloin
1-2 lb
ground chuck
1 large
onion, finely chopped
2-3 clove
garlic, finely chopped or grated
1/2 - 1 tsp
italian seasoning
1-2 tsp
ground black pepper
1 Tbsp
dried parsley
handful of italian bread crumbs
handfuls of parmesean cheese
eggs (depends on the moisture content of the meat)

How to Make Homemade Italian Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs


  • 1***FOR THE SAUCE***
  • 2This makes a lot of sauce, so you will need a very large soup pot with a good weight to it.
  • 3Cover bottom of pan with olive oil (you want just enough to barely cover the bottom of the pan) begin to warm the oil gently.
  • 4Place peeled garlic cloves in oil, on low heat cook cloves until just starting to lightly blister. Do not let garlic brown or burn, it will give the sauce a clovey taste. Remove garlic.
  • 5Add tomato paste, one can at a time, throughly incorporating the olive oil into the tomato paste each time. I find this is easier to do with a wire wisk.
  • 6Add tomato puree mixing throughly.
    Add tomato sauce and mix well.
  • 7At this point some water can be added, as the sauce will be cooking at least 6 hours and will thicken as it cooks. I wouldn't add more than 2 of the paste cans full of water. Mix well.
  • 8Add Italian seasoning, garlic powder, bay leaves and salt. Additional cloves of garlic can be added. depends on how garlicky you want the sauce.
  • 9Cover pan with lid cocked and simmer on low for at least 6 hours. Stirring occasionally, to keep sauce from sticking to bottom.
    While the sauce is getting hot, mix together the meatballs, see below.
  • 11My mother used veal in her meatballs. The price of veal is so expensive I have started using ground sirloin and ground chuck. The rule of thumb here is to use 2 parts lean veal or sirloin to 1 part ground chuck.
  • 12Mix together, ground sirloin(or veal), ground chuck, finely diced onion and garlic, italian seasoning, ground black pepper, parsley, bread crumbs, parmesean cheese and eggs.
  • 13Using a spoon (I like to use my large cookie scoop) take a good amount of meat mixture and roll in the plam of your hand, forming a ball. The meatballs should hold together, and be about the size of a golfball. I like to get a plateful of meatballs made then drop them into the hot sauce, then go back and make another platefull to be dropped in the sauce. Repeat until all meatballs have been added to sauce. Gently, so as not to break up meatballs, push and stir the sauce to get the meatballs down into the sauce.
  • 14Cover with lid cocked, so steam can escape and thicken the sauce. Simmer on low on the stove top. After about 1/2 hour check the meatballs and stir carefully, making sure the meatballs do not stick.
  • 15The sauce and meatballs should cook at least 6 hours or longer if you like.
    About 1 hr before serving add pinch of sugar and stir well, being careful not to breakup the meatballs. Add the parmesean cheese. Mom never stired the cheese into the sauce, she just let it melt into the sauce. Be careful after adding the sugar and cheese, as they could cause the sauce to stick on the bottom. Remove bay leaves before serving.
    Serve sauce and meatballs over hot cooked pasta and a sprinkle of parmesean cheese on top.

Printable Recipe Card

About Homemade Italian Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs

Show 54 Comments & Reviews

22 A+ Back-to-school Recipes

22 A+ Back-To-School Recipes

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

It's time to go back, back, back to school again! Check out these quick and easy dinner recipes that the entire family (yes, we said entire family...even the picky eaters)...