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.

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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook the onion until lightly brown. Mix in 2 cloves garlic, and cook 1 minute. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, water, sugar, 1/2 the oregano, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer while preparing meatballs.

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  • In a bowl, mix the ground round, bread crumbs, remaining oregano, remaining garlic, parsley, eggs, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Roll into 1 inch balls, and drop into the sauce. Cook 40 minutes in the sauce, or until internal temperature of meatballs reaches a minimum of 160 degrees F (72 degrees C).

  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, and stir in the spaghetti. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain. Serve the meatballs and sauce over the cooked spaghetti.

Partner Tip

Try using a Reynolds® slow cooker liner in your slow cooker for easier cleanup.

Nutrition Facts

572 calories; 17 g total fat; 87 mg cholesterol; 1177 mg sodium. 80.1 g carbohydrates; 27.7 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (621)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
04/16/2008
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
(663)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
03/12/2008
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. Read More
(28)
828 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 463
  • 4 star values: 221
  • 3 star values: 71
  • 2 star values: 47
  • 1 star values: 26
Rating: 4 stars
04/16/2008
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
(663)
Rating: 4 stars
04/16/2008
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
(663)
Rating: 5 stars
02/22/2008
This rating is for the meatballs only. I used oatmeal instead of crumbs, but that is just preference. I can't believe how tender these come out when cooked in the sauce. Ingenious! Here's a tip I learned about meatballs... instead of rolling out each tedious one, try rolling a handfull of meat into a 1" thick rope and then cutting the rope into 1/2-1" lengths. Much faster! Read More
(389)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/28/2007
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! Read More
(183)
Rating: 5 stars
06/10/2007
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. Read More
(90)
Rating: 5 stars
09/12/2006
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! Read More
(52)
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Rating: 4 stars
04/05/2011
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. Read More
(46)
Rating: 5 stars
03/26/2008
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. Read More
(37)
Rating: 5 stars
01/04/2006
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! Read More
(31)
Rating: 4 stars
01/13/2006
Overall great meatballs but too much sugar!! I'll use a tablespoon next time. Read More
(28)
Rating: 2 stars
03/12/2008
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. Read More
(28)