Jenn's Out Of This World Spaghetti and Meatballs
This authentic spaghetti and meatballs recipe is made with fresh oregano and parsley. Because the meatballs are cooked in the sauce, they are tender and savory.
This authentic spaghetti and meatballs recipe is made with fresh oregano and parsley. Because the meatballs are cooked in the sauce, they are tender and savory.
There are MANY reviews/suggestions of this sauce...I read ALL of them...here they are summed up for easy viewing: 1. Omit 3 cans tomato paste for 1 can tomato paste and 1 can tomato sauce (I used 15oz can). 2. Omit 1/2 cup of sugar for 1/4 cup sugar if you like it a little sweet, or just 2 TBSP sugar if you cant tolerate much. 3. Omit 1 cup of water and add 2 cups of water instead. Some modifications that I personally made, which doesnt reflect what other reviewers have said, is using this Hot n' Spicy seasoning salt I found in my pantry...found the original recipe a little bland...this salt kicks it up a little (cajun seasoning should work just as well). I also read the reviews of how the meat, when baked directly in the sauce, can make it oily...I went ahead and bought meat that contained 7% fat (the already packaged stuff) and the sauce turned out perfect.Read More
There are MANY reviews/suggestions of this sauce...I read ALL of them...here they are summed up for easy viewing: 1. Omit 3 cans tomato paste for 1 can tomato paste and 1 can tomato sauce (I used 15oz can). 2. Omit 1/2 cup of sugar for 1/4 cup sugar if you like it a little sweet, or just 2 TBSP sugar if you cant tolerate much. 3. Omit 1 cup of water and add 2 cups of water instead. Some modifications that I personally made, which doesnt reflect what other reviewers have said, is using this Hot n' Spicy seasoning salt I found in my pantry...found the original recipe a little bland...this salt kicks it up a little (cajun seasoning should work just as well). I also read the reviews of how the meat, when baked directly in the sauce, can make it oily...I went ahead and bought meat that contained 7% fat (the already packaged stuff) and the sauce turned out perfect.
I decided to give this recipe a try today, and I'm very glad I did. I followed the recipe, except for these changes based on the other reviews I read...I used only 3 tablespoons sugar, added an additonl cup water (my family likes a more gravy like sauce, not too thick) and browned the meatballs in a bit of oil a bit...I also added a good chunk of pepperoni stick (old trick by my mom) and a half pound of beef stew chunks, browned as well, and simmered the whole thing for about 6 hours...Other than those changes, I follwed the recipe...:) The gravy came out phenomenal, and the whole family is looking forward to having it tomorrow as well (italian food is better the day after) So thank you Jenn, for a great recipe that can be easily tweaked to personal preference! Edited to add: I've now used this recipe a half dozen times to great success and reviews...I now double the batch and freeze half, and it keeps VERY well in the deep freeze for up to two months. All in all now my gold standard recipe to use for sauce and meatballs, NEVER again will I buy premade stuff!
This was fantastic. I actually made many changes. I didn't make the sauce and just used the recipe for the meatballs. I made a pot of sauce (combination of store-bought jars)and I mixed the meatballs and made them into 2 inch balls. I baked them at 350 for 20 minutes. If you decide to do this do it in a casserole dish and not on a cookie sheet. The grease from the ground beef dribbled into the bottom of my oven and was a mess. After baking them I put them in the sauce and added sweet italian sausage cut up into pieces. I brought it to a boil and then simmered for about an hour and a half. It was delish. My family raved about the whole meal especially the meatballs. I served it with wheat pasta and garlic bread. Very good.
My husband and I really enjoyed these meatballs and sauce. They were very tender- sometimes my meatballs can be tough. Cooking them in the sauce must be the key. I cut way back on the sugar- only about a Tbsp. as we don't like sweet sauce. Also, I had to use dried oregano as my grocery store was out of fresh. I'm sure the fresh oregano would only improve these even more. I cooked these on low in my crockpot for about 7 hours. I think they'd make great meatball grinders. The sauce is nice and thick. It would sit well on a grinder roll. We were scooping every last bit off our plates with our garlic bread!
Great spaghetti sauce - if you cut back on the sugar that is.... I cut it back to 3 Tbsp. and that was about right for us. I also used 2 cans of tomato paste and one 8 oz. can of tomato sauce. Instead of 1 cup of water I used half water and half red wine. I didn't have fresh oregano so I used 1 Tbsp. of dried and added a few more spices: 2 tsp. of dried basil, 1/4 tsp. of red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp. of salt along with the bay leaf. I let it simmer on low for 6 hours. I didn't make the meatballs so this review is for the sauce only. I used "The Best Meatballs" from this site.
When I told my carnivore hubby that I was making penne with marinara sauce he got upset and said "what, no meat?" so I turned to allrecipes and found this excellent recipe!! I just poured my jar of marinara sauce in a saucepan, followed these instructions for meatballs, plopped them in the sauce, and dinner was done in 40 minutes! These meatballs were very tender and easy to make with ingredients I had on hand. I will definitely make again.
The meatballs were really good but the sauce was way to sweet. Use alot less sugar and maybe one less can of the tomato paste. I made it as is will use the meatball recipe again.
Excellent recipe!! I only added 1/4 c of sugar, and that was still a bit sweet. I also added mushrooms and a few tablespoons of red wine. This gave it great flavor!
Overall great meatballs, but too much sugar!! I'll use a tablespoon next time.
I would have rated this higher except....stop the sugar!! And the salt!! All you need to add is a pinch of baking soda to cut the acidity in the tomato sauce. Bake the meatballs in the oven (or fry) to release the fat before adding to the sauce. No, I'm not a health nut, I'm just following what my italian gramma taught me.........let the true tomato taste stand out!
I just made the sauce. I did add only 2T of brown sugar and 1 can of the tomato paste and 1 can tomato sauce with the 2 cans of crushed tomatoes. Next time I well add fresh mushrooms and green bell pepper along with some parsley, basil and cilantro. My hubby loved it!
That is also very much my recipe, but I place the balls on a cooking tray with a little olive oil and bake them for 20 mn to get all the bad fat out....drain them on a paper towel and cook slowly in the sauce for an hour
I use crushed tomatoes. To cook leave the cover on partially and when you need to thicken it, just take it off. The water will evaporate and it'll be thicker. Too thick? Cover back on and the "sweat" will thin it. Instead of tomatoe paste I add 1 can of plum tomatoes to my sauce and just crush them in my fingers into the pot for a more pomadoro sauce with chunks of tomatoes. Nice change sometimes. I make sauce and meatballs forever. I am Italian, as well. My Nana, mother-in-law, Nani & everyone else I know including me, use a pinch of sugar which I eventually faded out and use a spritz of red wine vinegar, kills some of the acid as well without flavor. I never add oregano to the meatballs. Lots of salt, pepper, parsley, cheese, garlic, crumbs-perfect! I also add 1/4 c milk to moisten and they stay beautiful. I would put 1 egg. A pound of meat may get too hard with 2. Milk moistens w/o hardening. A trick, if you want to make sure meatballs are seaoned enough, before you drop them in, press one to your tongue. If bland, spice it up!!
I have made this sauce a couple times and my husband and I have really enjoyed it. Leftover sauce for days of enjoyment and little to no additional cooking for dinner required! I did decrease the amount of sugar to 1 TBS but that is because I know I don't care for sweet pasta sauce.
I'll share a secret a full blooded Italian friend gave me about spaghetti & meatballs. Add a small amount of cinnamon to both the meatballs and the sauce. Be very careful not to add too much.
This is an absolutely awesome recipe. Don't listen to all the "alterations"! It is perfect as is. People should not even review the recipe if they are not going to at least try it as written first. I hate sauce from a jar or can because the tomato taste is too harsh. This recipe is a perfect blend of seasonings and tomato, and turns out just perfect as originally submitted. Thanks for the recipe!
Made this last night for dinner and everyone loved it!!I took Yoshiyums advice. Which was: 1. Omit 3 cans tomato paste for 1 can tomato paste and 1 can tomato sauce (I used 15oz can). 2. Omit 1/2 cup of sugar for 1/4 cup sugar if you like it a little sweet, or just 2 TBSP sugar if you cant tolerate much. 3. Omit 1 cup of water and add 2 cups of water instead. My advice is to add your water a cup at a time. And wait to see how thick it is. IF you like it thinner add more water. Personally, I like a thicker sauce. And the 2C made it a little too watered-down for me. So, next time I will only add 1 and see what happens.
The only thing I change is the water. It's omitted. Otherwise I like this just the way it is. I've made it so many times for people that it's now the meal requsted by folks when I invite them over to share a meal.
Made this yesterday, using reviews to tweak. Hubby loves lots of sauce, so I used 1 large can crushed tomatoes, one large can sauce and a 12 oz can paste. Also pureed 2 carrots, one onion, one green pepper, fresh garlic and a drained can of mushrooms (son will eat this if he cannot see the veggies but if left in visible chunks all bets are off!) and sauteed that with 12 oz. wine before adding tomato products. Added 2 cups water, worcestershire sauce and 3/4 cup sugar. Down south we like it sweet, like our tea! In trying to avoid nasty filler in ground beef, I used round steak that I ground in my Kitchen Aid mixer for ground beef and followed recipe according to instructions. Very tender and delicious! Served over whole wheat angel hair pasta and froze the leftovers. YUMMY!!! Served with home made whole wheat french bread...
I make spahgetti and meatballs by requests from my grandkids. 1/2 C sugar is WAY to much. I use 2T brown sugar and it is just right. I haven't tried this recipe yet but I wanted to give cooks this info. You may also use dried oregano and parsley.
I have used this recipe for years, give or take a few things. My late step-father made his (authentic italian), in a very similar way. Cooking the meatballs in the sauce is the only way I will do it. As for the sauce, I usually use 1 can of Progresso crushed tomatoes and refill the can with water to add, 2 cans of paste also refilling each can with water and adding to the pot. I do not add onions but brown garlic and sausage at the bottom of the sauce pan before adding the tomatoes. This omits the oil since sausage has its own. I also do not use oregano, just basil and sometimes red pepper, along with the black pepper and a very little bit of salt. Lastly, instead of sugar, I use one whole carrot to add enough sweetness to get rid of the tartness. I never boil but cook on low for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Yum!
Love these meatballs and that they are cooked in the sauce. Adds depth to both meatballs and sauce. I use my own marinara or a couple jars of prego when I'm in a hurry. My new meatball go to recipe.
These are delicious! I have made them a few times, once doubling the recipe using 1/2 pound spicy Italian sausage, always to rave reviews.
taste sooooo goooooodddd.....i was a little unsure at first bt then i was like.....these are amzingggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg.............and if your a bad cook.....im 13 and i made this for 20 people
I grew up really disliking meatballs and it wasn't until many years later I realized why. My mom always fried hers and to me they tasted like round hamburgers floating in sauce. Many years later a friend of mine gave me this very recipe and now I adore meatballs. What a huge difference cooking them right in the sauce as opposed to frying or baking! The only thing I don't do is add sugar. Wonderful recipe and thank you for enlightening so many folks!
ughhhhh...way too sweet! I should have known with 1/2 cup of sugar. Still gave it two stars because my husband thought it was decent and my kids ate it....probably because of all the sugar!
So I made the recipe as is and I give it a 4 only because 1/2 c sugar is too sweet. That being said I love the recipe and will be making it again with a few changes. I understand where youre coming from in terms of the rating, but I have to tell you I appreciate the suggestions.
Really good. I wish I added a bit more salt to the meatballs though...I was afraid to oversalt. As others suggested, I used 2 cups water, 3 T sugar, and used 2 8oz tomato sauces instead of 2 of the tomato pastes.
Didn't really care for this recipe but I enjoyed giving it a try.
very easy recipe, my 4 year old helped me prepare them. We use ground pork, and baked them in the oven until browned and then simmered in a sauce for about an hour.
I used only 1/4 cup sugar (I cannot IMAGINE how sweet this would be with the full 1/2 cup....it'd be like candy!)....a little extra olive oil, a whole yellow onion, only 2 cans tomato paste and maybe 3/4 cup water (I like a thicker sauce) and I doubled the meatball recipe to accommodate another pound of beef. This was very good. Cooking the meatballs in the sauce made them very tender. Will make again. Thanks!
I had GREAT hopes for this recipe, but I'm sorry to say my hopes were dashed. I thought the amount of oregano was way too much, but since I've never used fresh I thought that was the reason. WRONG! It totally overpowered the taste of the meatballs and sauce. Maybe I'm just overly sensitive, but that was all I could taste--oregano and sweetness.
I followed the recipe exactly, and well.....very disappointing. The sauce lacked flavour and it was quite sweet. I definitely would not make this again.
I only used the recipe and style of cooking for the meatballs and paired it with some canned spaghetti sauce. But the result is delicious. This is now part of my regular repertoire.
This recipe is awesome and soooo easy to change up to your own liking...I toss in a chunk of green pepper that way I can pull it out before serving for the pickier eaters....and I hit the sauce w/a stick blender to control consistency.
This was soooo good! We loved the sauce- I followed the advice of others and used 1 can of tomato paste, 1 15oz can of tomato sauce, and 1/4 c of sugar (since there is less paste, you need less sugar). This made for the perfect consistency for us and we thought it was great! The meatballs were good- I still think I prefer my grandma's recipe for those, but I will use this sauce over and over!
Great starter recipe, but some changes definitely need to be made. As everyone said, entirely too much sugar. Actually, I cheated. I started with Prego. It's a great starter sauce. I cooked 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 c. finely chopped onions, and dried Italian seasoning in olive oil. Start with onions until transparent and then add others and cook only until flagrant. I added half the onion mixture to sauce and the other half to the meatball mixture. Instead of drued bread crumbs, I used three crustless slices of white bread soaked in 1/4 c. milk. I whisked only one egg into the bread mixture VERY well. I added extra parmesan and minced garlic into the meat mixture before balling. I made 2" meatballs and baked them in a high temp. oven. I drained them and let them rest before adding them into the sauce to cook on low for another 30 min. Instead of spaghetti, I served mine with garlic butter toasted Italian bread. My boys eat them separately and call them eyeballs in blood. My husband and I make meatball subs with provolone cheese. Any way you do it...they're good.
Great recipe. I made the meatballs with Extra Lean ground turkey and they still taste moist.
This recipe is great! We doubled the recipe, only put in 1/4 cup sugar, used 8 cloves garlic in the sauce, and sauteed the meatballs before putting them into the sauce.
I really like this recipe. I made some changes based on other reviews, I added a can of tomato sauce and not quite as much tomato paste. I only added half of the water it called for, because of the tomato sauce. The consistency ended up being basically the same as the jarred sauce I was buying before. I also added parsley to the sauce itself and was very generous on the seasonings. I also cut the sugar in by at least half to tone down the sweetness. The meatballs were so tender and juicy from being cooked in the sauce, and the flavor was excellent. Our new favored pasta sauce! Thank you! *****update - the meatballs do not hold up well after being frozen. They are too fragile. When reheating the sauce, some of them fell apart. Not a bad thing taste-wise, but kind of defeats the purpose of meatballs. I'd say this is a 3 star recipe after being frozen. Excellent on the first day.
WAAAAAYY to sweet. I cut the sugar down to 3 TBS as someone suggested, and that was still WAY too much! It ruined the batch of sauce, in my opinion, no matter what I did I couldn't overcome having so much sugar. Perhaps a good way to cook meatballs, but this is the traditional way to cook them anyway, nothing new with cooking them in the sauce.
This is a great recipe thanks a bunch. The only thing I did different is cooked it in my slowcooker all day, and read other reviews and used a quarter cup of sugar and it was perfect! No problems with the meatballs at all. Maybe because I wasen't standing over my slow cooker stirring it and making them fall apart. Delicious meal, will definately cook again, thanks!
2 cups of sugar this is a main course not a dessert onions and tom. paste add sweetness enough
We enjoyed this, but hubs thought it was a bit too sweet. Next time I will cut back on the sugar to probably 2 Tbls. which is usually enough to cut the acidity a bit. We had this the other night, and I'm looking forward to having the left overs for lunch after church tomorrow. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
You need to broil the meatballs for 15 minutes before putting them in the sauce. This will brown the meat and the sauce won't get greasy. Roll them lightly in your hands (do not overwork or they will be tough), put them in a baking pan and then broil them in your oven for 15 minutes. Then you can take a knife and knock off or scrape off any fat that is visible. Then put them in the sauce and simmer for 2 hours until done. Also, I replace oregano with basil, omit the bay leaf, omit the onion, halve the sugar, and put in about 2 T of garlic powder as well as 1/2 tsp of baking soda which kills some of the acidity of the tomatoes, sweetening them.
Great Meatballs, but the sauce was too sweet for me. I'll try it again without adding the sugar.
Made meatballs but not sauce. Added some uncooked ground pork I had left over from another recipe, no parmesan cheese. Turned out great, had never cooked meatballs in sauce before but they turned out awesome. Grown ups liked them better than the kids though.
Loved the meatballs and sauce, however, I found that because they were cooked in the sauce, there was added grease in my sauce. I will cook them, then add them to the sauce in a crockpot next time.
I don't know about the sauce--I used a jar I had in the pantry--but the meatballs were WONDERFUL.
yumm-o!!!!!! i got rave reviews on this but I must confess I used my own marinara recipe which is awesome because it was passed on to me by an italian friend who swore me to secrecy about the recipe (it;s a brooklyn thing....we make great gravy here on sundays) so i can never tell anyone the recipe! thank u!
I only gave this 4 stars b/c I tweaked to our liking. I did not make meatballs, but used browned deer burger. My family also doesn't like chunky tomatoes, so I used a 30 oz can of tomato sauce and 1-6 oz can of paste. The rest of the ingredients I used to taste. I absolutely loved how this came together. I've tried many scratch sauces and this is one I'm going to stick with. It was more saucy than meaty which we loved. Thanks for sharing!
Way too sweet! Wouldn't add sugar again and would add more seasonings. Can't figure out why such great ratings for this.
Hi there I have never made anything like this in my life ...bit of pasta sauce maybe... but meatballs !!! ??? Never !! Instructions were so easy to follow. Living in Spain, all the herbs and spices were very fresh. Cooked it while my partner (she's a Native New Yorker - they are black belts on this type of meal aren't they ??) was out. I was really worried about how it would turn out !! Everything tasted wonderful. She loved it .... so a big thanks Jenn. You have inspired me to try out a few other recipes !! Regards from sunny Spain Highlander
Amazing! I did make a few of the changes others suggested: 1)Swap 3 cans of paste for one can of paste + a 15 oz. can of sauce. 2)Use 2 cups water instead of one. 3) Use only 2 T sugar. I also used 2 bay leaves and added Cajun seasoning. You can also use dried oregano and parsley, just reduce to 4 tsp. instead of 1/4 cup. Ok, so that does sound like a lot of changes. But it turned out so good - with these changes it would definitely get 5 stars. It was a little blander as written. I will never buy jarred sauce again. The meatballs were perfect as written.
I'm the first of many generations of Italian cooks who made AWFUL meatballs! Thanks for this recipe! I substituted the ground beef with turkey but followed the rest of the directions as shown. PERFECT! This was my last attempt at meatballs... I found a recipe I can make again and again! Yummy!
I never have made this sauce though I'm sure it's excellent- but the meatballs are fabulous and make any old jar of spaghetti sauce awesome! I make these with a pound of meat at a time and freeze half (one in the sauce, one on a plastic-wrap lined paper plate until the mix is gone; I set the plate just for an hour or two flat in the freezer and then slip [the m'balls] in a freezer bag). Fresh or frozen the just simmer about 45 mins and any sauce works since they come out so well.... I definitely think the fresh herbs (I freeze those too) make a difference and fresh cheese if you have it, too.... We love this meal at our house and using the frozen m'balls is such a quick and easy fix for a weeknight dinner- dump in pan, pour sauce over, cover and set on low and start the water to boil about twenty minutes in.... nothing to it, and it works every time!
Loved it! We made a few changes based on what we had around the house, but stuck to the heart of the recipe. We browned the meatballs in the pan before adding them to the sauce. Delicious!
Have made identical recipe with minor personal changes. I only use 2tbl brown sugar, always a dash of cinnamon, a splash of white wine and I prefer tomato sauce to paste. Need more flavour...squeeze some ketchup into sauce! Dried seasonings work fine..All good...all yummy.
I've made this twice recently.. was good the 1st time.. but great the second time. I uses 1 1/2 cans of tomato paste, eliminated the sugar, added 3 bay leaves, used Panko and a little extra cheese. The second time I doubled the sauce only... sooo much better than the first time. Cooked the meatballs in the sauce (adds much more flavor). Excellent recipe!
Love,love,love the meatballs in this recipe! I make the meatballs all the time. My family was not crazy about the sauce-----but who cares when you can have Meatballs!!!!!!! Enjoy!!
Very, very good! I have been looking for a recipe with this particular taste and texture for years, after losing a similar recipe. It is wonderful and easy to prepare. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.
I was looking for a recipe that would increase the tenderness and flavour of my meatballs. This isn't it. I followed it to the letter (absolutely no substitutions/changes) and 4 of the balls fell apart (I suppose they *are* more tender in that respect). They aren't any more flavourful at all and the sauce is quite watery and bland despite being oily from the meat. I am very disappointed.
This was such an easy and delicious recipe! It was just a touch too sweet. Next time I'll either omit the sugar or just use a couple of tablespoons of it. The meatballs were the best I've ever had! They turned out very well and were so flavorful. I'll make this again for sure!
I only made the meatballs, and cooked them in my crockpot with a jar of sauce. They came out so delicious, and I made sandwiches with them. The only thing I wasn't to fond of, was the fresh parsley. I will definetely make these again!
These are definitly out of this world! I only made the meatballs but they were excellent and I wouldn't make any changes at all! Thanks Jenn!
This was really good. I've made these a dozen times and have fine tuned the recipe. Instead of 3 cans of tomato paste, I just use one can and 1/8 cup of sugar. I add a 16oz can of tomato sauce to the receipe (you can keep the one cup of water). Definately use the fresh ingredients. I tried without and it's terrible. After it's cooked, transfer it to a slowcooker to warm for about an hour. I accidentally discovered this, but it enfuses all the flavors and gives a wonderful consistency to the sauce.
Beautiful! I didn't have crushed tomatoes or tomato paste - But I did have a jar of plain old sauce. I used that along with the rest of the recommended seasoning (dried oregano though). Just fantastic! Thanks Jenn!!!!! My in-laws loved it!
THE BEST EVER LOVE IT!!!!
AMAZING!!!! Just made the meatballs and they were a huge hit.
Nice Recipe only problem is the meatballs had a bit too much garlic in. **** Great
Made these meatballs for meatball subs. Delicious, subtle flavor. Had to use dried herbs, still fresh and wonderfully flavored. Wow, even my husband, who has never liked my homemade meatballs, liked them!!!
I only made the meatballs - added them to some jar sauce - it was FABULOUS!!! After rolling the meatballs, I placed them on a cookie sheet that I stuck in the freezer until they were firm and I put 1/2 of them away in a freezer bag to use at a later date. My 20 month old that usually only eats chicken woofed down 2 of these!! I will make these again - a nice change to regular pasta with meat sauce or sausage.
This was so delicious! We loved it! I didn't have any tomato paste, so I used tomato sauce and just cut the water back to 1/2 a cup. I omitted the onion and cut the sugar way back (used maybe 2 tablespoons). I added a can of sliced mushrooms. The only thing I might do differently is to brown the meatballs before adding them to the sauce because they did seem to add some grease to the sauce. Other than that, it was perfect. Served it with Garlic Bread Fantastique from this site and a spinach salad. Perfect meal. Thank you!!!
WAY too much sugar. Meatballs tasted great but the sauce just didnt taste right.
I just made the meatballs but instead of ground beef I used ground turkey. I baked them for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Then let them simmer in the sauce for about in hour. Turned out amazing. Definitely will make this again.
This was the first time I've ever made homemade meatballs and it turned out pretty good. Although, next time I will add more garlic to the sauce--and more sauce in general. The amount here wasn't enough to cover all the meatballs so I had to add a jar of sauce I spruced up with some fresh garlic and onion. Overall though this was great and I would make it again! It definitely tastes better the day after!
wish I would have read ALL the reviews before making this.. I hesitantly used all the sugar and shouldnt have. Really sweet. I wouldnt use more than 2 Tbs. next time. Also may take the advice on using 1 less tom. paste and one more tom. sauce instead.?
I used 5 cloves of garlic and a whole small onion. I added 4 hot italian sausages to the sauce and 1 sausage to the meatball mixture. I ended up using 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, 1 28 oz can of concentrated crushed tomatoes, 2 14 oz undrained cans of diced tomatoes and 2 6 oz cans of tomato paste. I did not add any water to the sauce. I used 2 rounded TBS of brown sugar. To the meatballs, I added a dash of W sauce, soy sauce, and garlic powder.
I reduced the sugar by half but should have put less and since we like a bit of a kick, will add more spices next time.
Loved it! Had to change a thing or two based on what I had. I didn't have any tomato paste, so I used puree in place of the sauce and paste. Used dried herbs and a splash of white wine. Also skipped the water, just used 28 oz crushed and pureed toes. I wish I would've followed the advice and only used 2T of sugar-very sweet with only 1/4c!
I loved this recipe! Next time I'll double it to have extras to freeze. I stuck to the recipe other than not using fresh parsley (didn't have any and kids don't like anything green in their food!). I also used 1/4 cup sugar rather than 1/2 cup and I loved how the sauce tasted, although my hubby thought it was a bit too sweet. This is a keeper!
The amount of sugar in this recipe made the sauce W A Y too sweet. I had to more than double the amount of tomato in the sauce in order for it to be edible. It still was a little too sweet for my taste even after that. Also when making the meatballs only 1 egg is needed, not 2.
My boyfriend had been craving spaghetti and homemade meatballs "like his mom makes" - boy that's a lot to live up to, ay? Anyway, never having made homemade meatballs before I was looking for something simple but delicious. This was just the treat. I too, only made the meatballs, not the sauce. I took the advice of one of the cook's below and baked them first in the oven then a little bit in the sauce and they turned out amazing! I'm so excited to make it again. Easy and scrumptious.
This has become my husbands (and my brothers) favourite meal, its delicious! The only change I made was to halve the amount of sugar, but other than that it's great! Thanks Jenn!!
Awesome! I used 1 big can tomato puree, 1 big can tomato sauce, i can diced tomatoes, and alot of minced garlic. cut down on sugar, and added mushrooms. Wonderful sauce. The meat balls are fantastic as well. gonna be a regular here. Highly recommend
Great basic recipe. I have a homemade sauce that I like to use, but I used the meatball recipe- cooked in the sauce - and it turned out great! I did not change anything but will definitely experiment as always. Thanks!
This recipe was absolutely delicious! I made this for my husband and a dear friend, and they both absolutely loved it. It's not very often that we find a recipe to add to our go-to-recipes list, but this will definitely be on there from now on! I did use the modifications recommended by Yoshiyum. I substituted the 3 cans of tomato paste with 1 can tomato paste and 1 can tomato sauce, and I used one 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes instead of two 16-oz cans (reduces cost). I also decreased the sugar to 3 Tbsp and used two cups of water. Lastly, I personally do not care for the flavor of parsley, so I substituted fresh basil in its place. Cooking the meatballs in the sauce is genius and definitely made for a delicious meal! Thanks Jenn!
I made the sauce with half the amount of sugar and it still tasted like we were licking sugar out of the bowl. The meatballs were tasty but I would like to keep looking for another recipe.
very good recipe!
The meat balls were good. The sauce was just alright. It seemed to lack some flavor and texture. It was very "tomato-ee"
I really wasn't expecting much. How can a spaghetti sauce be universally loved? But this was wonderful! Like a tomato hug! It combines the comfort power of both spaghetti and meatloaf. Also, a few pots and few hours of unsupervised simmering and I had one yummy dinner, plus two in the freezer. Wow. I didn’t add the sugar but otherwise cooked to spec. Next time I would do a tiny few things different, like add some wine. But in general I don’t want to mess with this recipe too much because it has the foundational ratios just about perfect.
Delicious! I also cut the sugar back to 3 tablespoons and that seems to add a perfect sweetness. I used only one can of tomato paste but increased the water to 3 cups. I used Italian stewed tomatoes with oregano and garlic. (that's what I had on hand and it worked well!) I didn't have beef so I used turkey meat. Very good...will make meatball sandwiches with leftovers.
I only use the meatballs from this recipe and they are delicious!!! Thanks.
I only use this recipe for the meatballs.
My family loved this. I made it just as the recipe is only I used one and half tablespoons suger. It was perfect. Thanks
I did not make the meatballs, so I'm rating just the sauce. I was getting sick of the canned spaghetti sauce I normally use, so I tried this - and it is so good! Seriously, I'm keeping this recipe for sure. I will try the meatballs once I have some leaner beef.
Overall, a good recipe. I'll probably tweak the sauce next time by added 2 Tbsp sugar and more crushed tomatoes, less tomato paste, and a bit of white wine. Really liked the meatballs, but my husband did not like the oregano in them, so next time I'll leave that out as well. Also, I baked my meatballs for 20 minutes before adding them to the sauce, because I like my meatballs with a little "crust" on them. This recipe is a great "jumping off point" for making the perfect spaghetti sauce and meatballs, since after reading all of the other reviews it is evident that there are an abundance of personal preferences for the flavors and textures of this classic dish. Thumbs up from me, Jenn!
I loved this recipe! The meatballs were great and it was nice to just throw them in the sauce and let them cook as the sauce simmered. Thanks Jenn!
All in all the recipe is not bad at all, pretty darn good in fact! Right balance of everything that is besides spices and herbs. For the meatballs I threw in finely chopped fresh parsley, 4 tbsp parmesan cheese, 1 tsp pepper, 1tbsp dried mixed herbs, 3 tsp garlic powder... and minor adjustments along the way. Also, I did brown the meatballs in a pan prior to letting them simmer in the sauce. This gives the meatballs a nicer texture and a meatier flavor. For the tomato sauce, I took the advice of another reviewer and dropped in 2-3 whole sprigs of parsley, and took them out prior to serving. Moreover, I definitely added a lot more herbs and seasoning while it cooked (pepper, sugar). You really do have to adjust these factors based on your own tastes, to each their own! A squirt of lemon juice when the dish was done gave it a good finish.