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Mama's Best Ever Spaghetti and Meatballs by Modern Honey. Homemade meatballs made from scratch. Authentic Italian meatballs and marinara sauce.

Mama's Best Ever Spaghetti and Meatballs

There's nothing more comforting than a big bowl of homemade meatballs and sauce.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword spaghetti and meatballs
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6
Author Melissa Stadler, Modern Honey


Marinara Sauce:

  • 2 - 28 ounce cans Italian tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Crushed Hot Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Basil Leaves or 2 teaspoons dried Basil


  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs or Toasted White Bread crumbled
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese grated
  • 2 cloves of Garlic peeled and finely diced or 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Italian Parsley diced or 2 teaspoons dried Parsley
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil to cook in
  • 1 lb. Spaghetti
  • 1 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese


  1. Place the tomatoes in a blender and pulse for a few seconds.
  2. Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion and cook for about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Pour in tomatoes, garlic salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, sugar and basil leaves.
  4. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.

To make meatballs:

  1. Place ground beef in large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley, egg, salt, and pepper.
  2. Mix the ingredients with clean hands (dig in there!) just until blended together. Shape the meat mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place as many meatballs that you can fit into the pan without overcrowding. Cook until golden brown on all sides, turning as necessary, about 5-6 minutes. Remove the meatballs and repeat with others.
  4. Add the browned meatballs to tomato sauce and cook gently over low heat until fully cooked through -- about 30 minutes.
  5. Bring water to boil. Generously salt water. Once boiling, add spaghetti and cook according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and return to pot.
  6. Top with sauce and meatballs and sprinkle with cheese.
  7. Right before serving, spoon more sauce over pasta and meatballs.