For as often as my family eats spaghetti (one of my kids' favorite dinners!) it's surprising that we had NEVER had spaghetti with homemade meatballs, until tonight. I usually put ground beef in my spaghetti sauce (whether making it from scratch, or adding to store-bought sauce) so we were essentially already eating the same thing, but since my more-picky kids have lately expressed a greater interest in meat, I decided to give these a try. They turned out great; we all loved them. I found the meatball recipe on allrecipes.com but tweaked it a bit.
1 lb lean ground beef (I used 93/7)
3/4 c bread crumbs (I used store-bought)
1 T dried parsley
1 T grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 egg, beaten
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. I mixed it with a fork but then finished mixing it thoroughly with clean hands, just like I do when I make meatloaf. Shape into about 12 balls; if not using immediately then cover and store in the refrigerator.
Place meatballs in a glass or metal 8x8 pan; bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour an approximately 24-oz bottle/jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the sauce begins to boil, add the meatballs that have just partially cooked in the oven. Allow sauce to come to a boil again, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and let the meatballs simmer in the sauce for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.
While they're simmering, cook spaghetti noodles according to package instructions, in a separate pot. When noodles are tender, drain, and serve with meatballs & sauce on top -- and extra parmesan cheese. Yum!
- I doubled the meatball recipe; it was too much for my family but a single recipe wouldn't have been enough (because we all LOVED the meatballs)!
- I noticed that after all that simmer-time my sauce had thickened considerably, even though it had been covered. To thin it out I added about 1 cup of water to my sauce ~ this is fine to do because the liquid that has boiled away is just water, so you should add water (rather than tomato sauce, or something) to thin it back out to the right consistency.
- If you choose, you could omit the oven step and put the raw meatballs right into the sauce to cook. I liked the idea of browning them in the oven first. Either way, they should be cooked thoroughly after a 30-minute simmer.
Update: I just enjoyed the leftover meatballs & sauce for lunch ~ they would have been PERFECT on a hoagie roll! Thanks for the suggestion Amy; next time I'm making meatball subs!