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Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs

My spaghetti and meatballs recipe contains juicy pork & beef balls with parmesan & pine nuts and a tomato & Worcestershire sauce, erm sauce!

Portrait image of spaghetti and meatballs served with fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese served on a white plate

Pork and Beef Meatball Pasta.

Growing up in the UK in the 70’s & 80’s spaghetti and meatballs was never a thing.

Spaghetti was pretty much always served with a bolognese sauce, unless it was spaghetti hoops from a tin of course!

Fortunately time moves on and my 50+ pasta recipes demonstrate that pasta has become so much more to me than bolognese. I have everything from wild boar ragu with pasta through to smoked mackerel pasta!

This recipe has been with me for a while and has evolved over time to become one of my favourite comfort food dinners.

As far as I am concerned the key to a good, from scratch, spaghetti and meatball recipe is a combination of juicy succulent meatballs with a smooth tomato sauce.

My meatballs are made with a combination of pork and beef. The easy meatball sauce features a big hit of Worcestershire sauce… You know that classic Italian or Italian American ingredient. Me sarcastic, no, never!

Portrait image of spaghetti and meatballs served with fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese served on a white plate against a dark backdrop

Ingredient Advice.

Pork and beef is a classic combination for a meatball, although it is a combination that stems from cooking tender veal with beef.

I prefer fattier cuts of both types of meat for my meatballs. Usually, I opt for neck of beef and shoulder of pork and usually mince my own mix.

But I know most don’t so packets of minced beef are fine, but do not go for lean mince. You will end up with dry meatballs and not amount of tomato sauce can cover up dry balls!

I also use the technique of grating onion for the meatballs that I mention in my chicken meatball recipe. This damages and bruises the onion, allowing it to release more liquid and that helps with both moisture and flavour.

Do not skip the pine nuts! Yes, they are expensive, but they add so much to this spaghetti and meatballs recipe.

I will often make this recipe in larger batches and freeze the meatballs. Drop them in a freezer bag, force out as much air as I can and freeze them for up to 3 months.

I prefer to defrost my meatballs before cooking!

Secondly the tomato sauce and that very un-Italian/American ingredient, Worcestershire sauce. It provides the back bone of the flavour to the sauce and reducing it is a tip I picked up from a Marco Pierre White recipe for peppercorn sauce.

Try and use Lea and Perrins, Worcestershire sauce by other brands tastes very different and in my opinion does not reduce well!

Finally tomato passata, it is nothing more than sieved tomatoes. If all you have is a tin of tomatoes, blend will and pass through a sieve.

Portrait overhead image of spaghetti and meatballs served with fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese served on a white plate

Serving Sugegstions.

As far as I am concerned spaghetti and meatballs is all that is needed here, no sides required!

My wife kind likes to add garlic bread. To be fair that could just be a sentence appended to any of my recipes!

I do however think that the sauce must be stirred through the pasta.

Undressed pasta is not good to eat and pasta needs to be dressed whilst hot. So please, for the love of all that is good, stir your sauce through your pasta before putting it on the plate. Pretty please 😀

Square image of spaghetti and meatballs served with fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese served on a white plate
Yield: 2 Servings

Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Spaghetti and meatballs is an all-time comfort food family favourite, mine packs pork and beef meatballs with parmesan cheese, pine nuts and parsley and then cooks them in a tomato sauce featuring a Worcestershire sauce reduction! Simple, delicious and a real break from the norm!

Ingredients

For the Meatballs

  • 150 g Minced Beef
  • 150g Minced Pork
  • 30 g (1/4 Cup) Pine Nuts
  • 50 g (1/4 Cup) Grated Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 10 g (1/4 Cup) Chopped Parsley
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 25 g (1/3 Cup) Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 50 g (1/3 Cup) Parmesan Cheese (plus extra for garnish)

For the Sauce

  • 225 g (1 Cup) Tomato Passata
  • 50 ml (3 Tbsp + 1 Tsp ) Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1/2 Tsp Onion Salt
  • 1 Tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tsp Dried Basil
  • 12 Fresh Basil Leaves (plus extra for garnish)
  • 175 g Spaghetti

Instructions

  1. Grate the onion.
  2. Mash the garlic cloves.
  3. Chop the parsley.
  4. Add all of the ingredients for the meatballs into a bowl and just bring them together to form a large ball.
  5. Roll into 10, 45g, ping pong ball sized, meatballs.
  6. Add the oil to a hot heavy based pan and sear the meatballs until coloured on all sides approx 4-5 minutes.
  7. Remove the meatballs from the pan and drain off all but a scant covering of oil before returning to the heat.
  8. Pour in the Worcestershire sauce and then reduce for a minute and a half or so, scraping the base of the pan as you go.
  9. When the Worcestershire sauce has reduced significantly reduce the temperature to medium.
  10. Pour in the tomato puree, add the dried basil, oregano and garlic salt.
  11. Return the meatballs to the pan and toss to coat with the sauce.
  12. Add a lid, reduce to a low simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  13. Bring a large pan of well-salted water to the boil and cook the pasta as per the instructions on the packet.
  14. Drain the pasta reserving a couple of tablespoons of the pasta water.
  15. Remove the meatballs from the sauce and add the drained pasta and stir adding the cooking water as you go to form a nice coating.
  16. Finely shred the fresh basil leaves and stir them through the sauce.
  17. Serve the spaghetti, topped with your meatballs and then sprinkle with as much freshly grated parmesan as you like.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 894Total Fat: 48gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 246mgSodium: 1985mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 5gSugar: 10gProtein: 59g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

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Katie C

Thursday 28th of September 2017

This is a beautiful bowl of spaghetti and meatballs! WOW!!! Talk about comfort food. This looks fantastic.

Brian Jones

Thursday 28th of September 2017

Thanks Katie, the pine nuts in them add so much to the dish, we love these meatballs!

Whitney

Sunday 6th of December 2015

I've never had pine nuts in my meatballs, but I think I am definitely going to have to give it a try! I could eat meatballs as a meal by themselves, though.

Brian Jones

Monday 7th of December 2015

They really work apparently it is a really old idea to add pine nuts and I love it... With you on munching down on a big plate of meatballs!

Byron Thomas

Saturday 5th of December 2015

There are three things about this dish that I'm totally digging - the beef, the pork, and the pine nuts. Great looking dish!

Brian Jones

Sunday 6th of December 2015

Teehee, thanks Byron :)

Mary (The Godmother @ Goodie Godmother)

Friday 4th of December 2015

The Godfather is resident "meat expert" around here, and I'm leaving the tab open to share this recipe with him! We need to try pine nuts in the meatballs, I bet it's delicious! So far we've done ground almond, hazelnut, and macadamia as a way to use up the bits of flour from my baking, but we haven't blended beef and pork, or added some of the other flavors (I don't think... I don't really pay attention to him when he's working to be honest). Looks delicious!

Brian Jones

Sunday 6th of December 2015

Haha, thank you, I hope it met with approval, I love mixing pork with beef for meatballs... Pork has a far superior fat quality and quantity for me and beef a superior flavour, so the best of both worlds :)

Hillary

Thursday 3rd of December 2015

Ugh; perfect. Wish I could dig into this right now!!

Brian Jones

Sunday 6th of December 2015

Thank you :)