Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe | PBS Food

Spaghetti and Meatballs

A traditional recipe for the kid-pleasing pasta dish.


Yield: 4-6 servings


  • Meatballs:
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. dried basil
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • Tomato Sauce:
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes (I love using San Marzano tomatoes)
  • 1 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • You'll also need a 1 lb box of spaghetti


  1. Meatballs: Preheat oven to 400° F. Cook onions and garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat until softened (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally. In a large bowl, add the onion/garlic mixture and all the other ingredients. Combine everything by hand until well mixed. Firmly form 2”meatballs by hand. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Brown meatballs and place on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes in the oven.
  2. Tomato Sauce: Prepare Tomato sauce while meatballs are baking.
  3. Cook onions and garlic in oil in a pot over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes with juice reserved in a separate bowl. Simmer sauce uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened for 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and half of the reserved liquid until sauce reduces for 5 minutes. *Add parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on top as garnish.
  4. Putting it all together: Cook a 1 lb box of spaghetti to al dente, drain, and plate it. Place a few spoonfuls of sauce on top of the noodles followed by meatballs. Finish it off with a couple tablespoons of parsley and grated cheese.
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