Spaghetti and Meatballs

Marsha Gardner


This recipe came from my great aunt Lillian who married and Italian man straight from Italy.

The original recipe for the meatballs calls for a "nickel's worth" of graham crackers. We had to guess what that amount was.

Better made a day ahead and let to set in refrigerator overnight to let all the great flavors come together.

Ummm good.


★★★★★ 2 votes



  • ·
    olive oil, extra virgin
  • 4-5
    pork steaks
  • 2 large
    onions, diced
  • 6-8 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 1 can(s)
    #10 size tomato sauce
  • 1 can(s)
    #10 size crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large
    can tomato paste
  • 1-2 c
    red wine, i like chianti or burgundy
  • 1/2 c
    brown sugar
  • 2
    bay leaves, dried
  • 1 Tbsp
    ground oregano
  • 1 Tbsp
    sweet basil, dried
  • 3 Tbsp
    dried parsley
  • 2-3 tsp
    fennel seed
  • 1 tsp
    kosher salt
  • 1 tsp
    freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 c
    freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb
    sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tsp
    red pepper flakes

  • 4 lb
    ground chuck
  • 1 large
    onion, minced fine
  • 4
  • 3 c
    graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 c
    freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp
    oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp
    sweet basil, dried
  • 1/2 c
    chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp
    kosher salt
  • 1 tsp
    freshly ground black pepper
  • ·
    enough milk to make a very moist mixture

How to Make Spaghetti and Meatballs


  1. Cover bottom of large pot with olive oil. When oil is hot add pork steaks that have been salted and peppered on both sides to oil. Brown on both sides.
  2. Add chopped onion, let cook a few minutes and then add garlic. Cook until onions are translucent.
  3. Add remaining ingredients. I usually add very hot water to tomato cans to make sure I get all the goodness out. Simmer until desired thickness.
    Mix all ingredients together, adding enough milk to make meat mixture very moist. Form into balls. Arrange meatballs (this will be done in batches) around the outside of a microwave safe pie plate. Microwave on high for 3 1/2 - 4 minutes. Meatballs should hold together at this point. Add to simmering sauce to finish cooking. Microwaving extracts excess fat from meat and keeps them from breaking apart in the sauce.
  5. Depending on my mood I add pan fried Italian Sausage to simmering sauce. My great-uncle would add browned cubes of chuck roast and hard boiled eggs. The pork from the pork steaks will just fall off the bones and break into small pieces in the sauce. If you find a bone, just remove it.
  6. Serve over your choice of pasta. We like angel hair at our house, but we change it up to keep things interesting.
  7. This sauce freezes well. I also sometimes make a double batch of the meatballs and freeze one batch uncooked on baking trays and then when frozen pack into zip bags for other recipes.

Printable Recipe Card

About Spaghetti and Meatballs

Course/Dish: Pasta
Regional Style: Italian

Show 16 Comments & Reviews

20 Recipes For A Flavorful Sunday Supper

20 Recipes for a Flavorful Sunday Supper

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

Whether you're feeding your family or having a group of friends over for a casual dinner, there's nothing better than gathering around the table for a flavorful Sunday supper. You...

15 Delicious Ways To Make Macaroni & Cheese Better

15 Delicious Ways to Make Macaroni & Cheese Better

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

Oh, how we love creamy and cheesy macaroni and cheese... so much goodness in every bite. But, why not go the next step and make mac & cheese the very...

Pasta Recipes For An Easy Dinner Option

Pasta Recipes for an Easy Dinner Option

Kitchen Crew

I always keep a box of pasta in the pantry so I can pull it out and create a delicious dinner. Adding a little bit of sauce or butter and...