Spaghetti Sauce and Mighty Meatballs

Spaghetti Sauce and Mighty Meatballs

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Share this Recipe!

Our family loves Italian food, especially when I make my homemade Spaghetti Sauce and Mighty Meatballs. The sauce cooks long and slow and fills the kitchen with such a delightful aroma it makes everyone hungry.

Our Granddaughter Slurping Spaghetti

Plus, it’s a wonderful recipe to make with kids, who can help crush the plum tomatoes and make the huge, yummy meatballs.

When I was a girl, I remember seeing a television advertisement that had an old man at a table with his wife serving him a plate of spaghetti and huge meatballs. It went something like “Mama Mia, that’s a Spicy Meatball.” (See the Commercial Bloopers Here.)

Mama Mia That's a Spicy Meatball - Mighty Meatballs

When telling my grandchildren about this, it somehow got mixed in translation to be “Mama Mia, that’s a Mighty Meatball!” And the name stuck. Now, when I make this dish, my grandkids always ask if they can help make Mighty Meatballs. And I respond, “Of course!”

This recipe for Spaghetti Sauce and Mighty Meatballs is actually a combination of two other Spaghetti Recipes that I have on this site. I like each of them equally well. One uses fresh garden tomatoes (which only happens in late summer), and the other is for a slow cooker.

Serving Spaghetti Sauce and Mighty Meatballs with Fresh Parmesan

More often than not, I end up with a combination of the two–which is what you have here. I consider it to be the Best of the Best, because you can make it any time of the year! Here’s how we do it!

 

Items for Spaghetti Sauce and Mighty Meatballs

Red Sauce

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • butter
  • sweet onion
  • mushrooms (optional)
  • garlic
  • canned whole tomatoes (crushed by hand)
  • crushed tomatoes
  • dry red wine
  • tomato paste
  • granulated sugar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • red wine vinegar
  • bay leaf
  • parsley (fresh or dried)
  • basil (fresh or dried)
  • dried oregano
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh basil and fresh parsley

 

Mighty Meatballs

  • lean ground burger
  • ground pork sausage
  • Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • large egg
  • dried minced onion
  • Italian herb seasoning
  • dried spaghetti – (See my Homemade Pasta Recipe Here)

 

Instructions for Making This Recipe

To begin, gather all your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table. I like to use small prep bowls when I have so many ingredients that I’m working with to keep everything straight in my head.

 

Prepare the Ingredients

Using a Chef’s knife and cutting board, dice the sweet onion. Slice and chop the mushrooms. Peel and mince the garlic.

Place whole tomatoes in a large bowl and crush them with your hands until there are no longer any large pieces. (My grandchildren love to help with this part.)

I use two large cans of tomatoes for this sauce. One is whole plum tomatoes that we crush with our hands. The second is crushed tomatoes. The combination of the two types gives the sauce more texture, which breaks down during the long cooking time. 

Canto San Marzano Tomatoes

When possible, I encourage you to use San Marzano tomatoes, which are a deep red, plum-type of tomato grown in San Marzano Italy. They are said to be the finest tomato for making red sauce. And I agree. Cento makes both types listed in this recipe.

If using fresh herbs, chop the fresh parsley and basil.

Using Fresh Parsley

When converting dried herbs to fresh herbs the formula is 1 teaspoon of dried herbs = 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs. So, in this instance, one tablespoon of dried parsley would equal 3 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley.

 

Prepare the Sauce

In a large saucepan, saute the prepared onions, mushrooms, and garlic in butter and olive oil until tender.

Add in crushed tomatoes, dry red wine, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, bay leaf, parsley, basil, dried oregano, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Stir together.

Making Homemade Red Sauace

Bring the sauce to a boil, and then cover and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer for 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

The longer this sauce simmers, the better. There is nothing better than stepping into the kitchen and getting a whiff of the delicious aroma of this sauce. Taste-testing is even better, and I always make sure to let everyone have a taste! 

Toward the end of the cooking time, I will often use an immersion blender in the sauce to create a silky smooth texture. Be sure to remove the bay leaf before blending.

 

Make the Meatballs

While the sauce is cooking, prepare the Mighty Meatballs! Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the lean hamburger, ground pork sausage, Italian-seasoned bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, large egg, dried minced onion, and Italian herb seasoning. Mix well.

I usually start out with a wooden spoon and then move to mixing it all together with my hands, ensuring all of the ingredients have been mixed in well.

Again, kids love getting their hands messy, so be sure to involve them in this part!

Rolling the Mighty Meatballs

Roll the mixture into balls the size of a baseball. I can usually get around 10-12 meatballs from this recipe.

A large muffin scoop works well for this measurement so that all the meatballs are the same size.

Place the meatballs in a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes until done.

Meatballs after they have been Cooked and Sauced

Carefully spoon the meatballs into the red sauce and allow to simmer together for 20-30 minutes to infuse the flavors. Be sure to include any oils that may linger in the dish.

Making Pasta

While the sauce finishes, prepare your favorite dried spaghetti according to package instructions or double my Homemade Pasta Recipe Here.

 

Serve Spaghetti and Meatballs Family-Style

To serve, place Mighty Meatballs in a nice serving bowl.

Serve Family-Style with Meatballs in one Dish and Spaghetti and Sauce in another

Using pasta tongs, remove the pasta from the water and transfer it to the sauce. Carefully mix together to cover the pasta. Place pasta and sauce in a second serving bowl.

Serving Meatballs and Spaghetti Sauce with Soft Breadsticks
Serve meatballs over the spaghetti sauce with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. I also like to prepare a green salad and either Soft Breadsticks, or Cheesy Bread Sticks to go with this meal.

This recipe will serve 8-10 people.

Wine Recommendation: Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages.

Browse Italian Dinner Ideas Here. View more of my Favorite Recipes Here. 

 

Serving Spaghetti Sauce and Mighty Meatballs with Fresh Parmesan

Spaghetti Sauce and Mighty Meatballs

This recipe is my go-to recipe when I make Spaghetti and Meatballs for our family. It serves ten people and our grandchildren love the Huge, Mighty Meatballs.
No ratings yet
Print Rate
Course: Main Course, Sauces
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Bulk Pork Sausage, Fresh Herbs, Homemade Pasta, Lean Ground Beef
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 10

Equipment

Prep Bowls
Cookie Scoop
Wooden Spoon
Pasta Tongs

Ingredients

Red Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sweet onion diced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 28 oz. whole tomatoes crushed by hand
  • 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon parsley dried or 3 tablespoons fresh
  • 1 tablespoon basil dried or 3 tablespoons fresh
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh basil and fresh parsley

Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground lean hamburger at least 80/20
  • 1 pound ground pork sausage
  • 1/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
  • 1.5 pounds dried spaghetti See my Homemade Pasta Recipe Here

Instructions

  • To begin, gather all your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table. I like to use small prep bowls when I have so many ingredients that I'm working with, to keep everything straight in my head.

Prepare the Ingredients

  • Using a Chef's knife and cutting board, dice the sweet onion. Slice and chop the mushrooms. Peel and mince the garlic.
  • Place whole tomatoes in a large bowl and crush them with your hands until there are no longer any large pieces. (My grandchildren love to help with this part.)
  • If using fresh herbs, chop the fresh parsley and basil.

Prepare the Sauce

  • In a large saucepan, saute the prepared onions, mushrooms, and garlic in butter and olive oil until tender.
  • Add in crushed tomatoes, dry red wine, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, bay leaf, parsley, basil, dried oregano, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Stir together.  Bring the sauce to a boil, and then cover and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer for 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Toward the end of the cooking time, I will sometimes use an immersion blender in the sauce to create a smooth sauce. Be sure to remove the bay leaf before blending.

Make the Meatballs

  • While the sauce is cooking, prepare the Mighty Meatballs! Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the lean hamburger, ground sausage, Italian-seasoned bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, large egg, dried minced onion, and Italian herb seasoning. Mix well.
    I usually start out with a wooden spoon and then move to mixing it all together with my hands. (Again, kids love this part, so be sure to involve them in this part!)
  • Roll the mixture into balls the size of golf balls. A muffin scoop works well for this measurement.
    I can usually get around 10-12 meatballs from this recipe.
  • Place meatballs in a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes until done.
  • Carefully spoon the meatballs into the red sauce and allow to simmer for 30 minutes together to infuse the flavors.
  • While the sauce finishes, prepare your favorite dried spaghetti according to package instructions or double my Homemade Pasta Recipe Here.

To Serve

  • Serve family-style by placing Mighty Meatballs in a bowl.
  • Using pasta tongs, remove the pasta from the water and transfer it to the sauce. Carefully mix together to sauce the pasta. Place pasta and sauce in a second bowl.
  • Serve meatballs over the spaghetti sauce and pasta with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and bread sticks. Serves 8-10.

Notes

*Unless otherwise indicated, all butter on this recipe site is salted.
**Wine Recommendation: Louis Jadot Beaujolais Village

Nutrition

Calories: 588kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 713mg | Potassium: 967mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1100IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 5mg
Like This Recipe?Share on Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram - Please mention @countryatheartrecipes or tag #countryatheartrecipes

Share this Recipe!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating