Dinner Recipe Dinner Recipe Dinner Recipe Dinner Recipe Dinner Recipe

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Tony Brown

For Dinner ( Pasta, Italian )


Published on

25 minutes to prepare and 60 minutes to cook

Serves 6


The Italians do three things fantastically well....Cars, Fashion and Food. This Italian classic is loved the world over, and will be sure to get your taste buds going crazy. Just promise that if you're sharing this with your loved one or a group of friends, to accompany it with a lovely bottle of red. (or a couple if you're feeling cheeky!) Italian food without red wine is like Christmas with no Santa. It just shouldn't happen :)


250 g lean veal mince
250 g lean pork mince
100 g parmesan cheese (finely grated)
2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1 onion (finely chopped)
1 1/2 tsps dried oregano
1 1/2 tsps dried basil
1 tsp chilli flakes
Salt and Pepper (preferably freshly ground)
2 eggs
1 cup breadcrumbs

1 onion (finely chopped)
1 stick of celery (finely chopped)
1 carrot (finely grated)
3 cloves of garlic (crushed or chopped)
1 red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
2 tsps dried oregano
2 x 400g tins crushed tomatoes
1 cup beef or chicken stock
1 cup of dry red wine
3 Bay Leaves
Handful of fresh basil

1 packet Angel Hair Spaghetti
Extra Virgin Olive Oil


1. First you want to get started on your meatballs. Combine all of your meatball ingredients except for your breadcrumbs and mix well. You can use a spoon, a mixer, or my preference, your hands. Make sure all the ingredients are mixed well without overhandling them if you can help it.

2. Add the breadcrumbs in a little bit at a time until your mixture is the right consistency. You don't want them sopping wet, however you don't want them too dry either. They should be nice and easy to shape, without squishing trough your hands (too wet) or starting to crumble (too dry). Which brings us to.....

3. Shape your meatballs into whatever size takes your fancy. I like to make them about 2/3rds the size of a golf ball. After all, no one wants to dislocate a jaw trying to get a meatball in their mouth! Add a lug of olive oil to a frying pan over medium heat and brown off your meatballs. You don't want to overcook them at this stage, this is just to sear them and lock in the juicy goodness. Once browned, place on paper towel to get rid of excess oil and set aside. Now it's time to get shaking on your sauce.

4. Get a large pot on the stove over a medium heat, and add a good lug of olive oil. Add your onion, celery, carrot, garlic, chilli and oregano. You want to sweat the ingredients to release all the flavours. Keep a close eye on it, stirring from time to time. When the onions are translucent, you're all good to go with step 5.

5. Add your beef/chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, red wine and bay leaves. Give the pot a really good stir to mix all the ingredients well, and then add the meatballs back into the mix. Stir thouroughly but gently (you don't want to squish the meatballs) and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn down to a low heat and let simmer for about 40 minutes. Make sure to periodically come back and give everything a good stir. Simmer without a lid on the pot, as this will reduce the sauce and give it a beautiful thickness that coats the meatballs and pasta really well. And this slow cooking of the meatballs is the business. They will melt in your mouth when they're finished.

6. Last but not least, bring a pot of well salted water to the boil, and cook your angel hair Spaghetti al dente. The angel hair works great, as the meatballs are decadent and rich, so it takes away from the overall heaviness of the meal. When pasta is cooked, be sure to drain well, and give pasta a small coating of olive oil and stir through. This gives the pasta good separation and adds to the overall flavour.

7. How you dish this meal is up to you. If it's for a romantic dinner, plate up onto individual plates. If it's for a group of friends, put on a large serving platter with some serving utensils and let your guests hook in for themselves. Irrespective of how you're plating up, be sure to take your fresh basil, tear it up and scatter over the meatballs. This adds another dimension to the meal. Serve with a side of Ciabatta bread and a good red wine, and watch the smiles on peoples faces as they eat. A simple dish, but a winner to be sure


Login to post a comment

  • avatar

    I agree Tony, you've got to take your time to make a good spaghetti and that's where the bottle of wine comes in handy...

  • avatar

    It's the best way Steve. I love a short cut as much as the next person, but for the most part, you can leave this cook and enjoy a drink and chat as you go. Gotta love the Italians, they were definitely onto something :)

  • avatar

    Just a like mama used to make.... love it!

  • avatar

    Definitely an Italian classic... I often take the easy way out and make a quick spag bol with dolmio sauce! But reading this definitely makes me want to spend some extra time and make some proper old school meatballs :)