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


Add to Grocery List

olive oil, extra virgin
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
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
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


  • 1Cover 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.
  • 2Add chopped onion, let cook a few minutes and then add garlic. Cook until onions are translucent.
  • 3Add 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.
  • 5Depending 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.
  • 6Serve over your choice of pasta. We like angel hair at our house, but we change it up to keep things interesting.
  • 7This 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

Restaurant Favorite Pasta Recipes You Can Make At Home

Restaurant Favorite Pasta Recipes You Can Make at Home

Kitchen Crew

There is an Italian restaurant in my neighborhood that I absolutely love. When it first opened, I became a regular. Maybe too regular... After one meal I realized that I...

19 Delicious Pasta Recipes

19 Delicious Pasta Recipes

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

Having guests over and not sure what to make? Try pasta! It's versatile and always a crowd favorite. Try one of these 19 delicious pasta recipes and by the end...

11 Stuffed Shell Recipes That Are Perfect For Dinner

11 Stuffed Shell Recipes That Are Perfect for Dinner

Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

In search of a dinner recipe that is family tested and approved? Then stuffed shells are your answer. So versatile, easy and delicious, we love us some stuffed shells!