My Mother's Cooking - Spaghetti with Meatballs

Spaghetti with Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs
Spaghetti and Meatballs
My Mother's Cooking
My Mother's Cooking
Meatballs with Sauce
Meatballs with Sauce
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Raw Meatball
Raw Meatball
Meatballs Frying
Meatballs Frying

My Mother's Cooking

5 stars from 1 rating of Spaghetti with Meatballs


Spaghetti with Meatballs


When my mother made spaghetti, it was usually with meat sauce made from ground beef and her own home canned tomatoes. Later, when she no longer canned tomatoes, she used commercial tomato sauce or tomato paste. I have taken this one step further and I prefer to begin with inexpensive spaghetti sauce (whatever is on sale) and modify it to my taste.


I also prefer meatballs over meat sauce because I like the contrast between the rich tomato sauce and the savory meatballs. You can use any stale bread cut into small cubes and soaked in water to make the meatballs. But I prefer Panko bread crumbs because of their size and texture.


When I make spaghetti and meatballs today, I usually make enough for about 8-9 servings even though there are only three of us. Because of its high acidity, spaghetti sauce easily keeps for a week or more in the refrigerator and it can also be frozen. Then, when you need a quick supper, you can easily warm it up and cook some fresh pasta in about 30 minutes.




Preparation Time:

60 Minutes

Cooking Time:

2 Hours


Ingredients for the Sauce:

One Large Onion peeled and chopped

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1 32-Oz. Jar of Spaghetti Sauce

1-16 Oz. Can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes

6-8 Cloves of Garlic peeled and finely chopped

1 Bay Leaf

1 Tablespoon of Basil

I tablespoon of Oregano

1 Teaspoon of Fennel Seeds

1 Teaspoon of Salt

1 Teaspoon of Sugar

Pepper to Taste


Cooking Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven, add the chopped onions and cook them over moderate heat until they are translucent.
  2. Add the fennel seed, salt and pepper and cook for one minute more.
  3. Then add the whole tomatoes and break them each into several pieces using a large spoon.
  4. If you started with a skillet, transfer the sauce to a large cooking pot and add the tomato sauce, the other spices and the chopped garlic, but reserve the teaspoon of sugar.
  5. After the sauce simmers for about an hour, taste it and add the sugar if necessary. It will depend on the acidity of the spaghetti sauce that you used. Also add more salt if necessary
  6. Continue simmering the sauce for at least another hour – the longer the better. Meanwhile, make the meatballs.


Ingredients for the Meatballs: 

2 Lbs. of Ground Beef or a mixture of Beef and Pork

1 Small Onion peeled and finely chopped

2 Cloves of Garlic peeled and finely chopped

1 Cup of Panko bread crumbs with ½ cup of water added to them

2 Eggs

1 Teaspoon Oregano

1 Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon Nutmeg


Cooking Instructions:

  1. Place the meat in a large bowl and form a hollow in the middle.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, bread crumbs and spices and then add the two eggs
  3. With your hands, thoroughly mix the contents until they are evenly mixed.
  4. Form the meat mixture into golf ball sized balls and place them in a baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam. There should be 24 or more meatballs
  5. Bake the meatballs in a 400 F oven for about 40 minutes until they are browned and then add them to the sauce using a slotted spoon.
  6. Drain of any excess fat from the pan and then deglaze it with some of the sauce mixed with a little hot water. Then add this to the sauce and continue cooking it for at least 30 more minutes.


Serving Suggestions:

Serve with thin spaghetti or your favorite pasta and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. A glass of Chianti would go well with this.


How to make meatballs?

Basic Italian Tomato Sauce

Norh Central Wisconsin - Where I grew up and learned how to cook.

show route and directions
A markerWausau, Wisconsin -
Wausau, WI, USA
[get directions]

B markerStevens Point, Wisconsin -
Stevens Point, WI, USA
[get directions]

C markerMilwaukee, Wisconsin -
Milwaukee, WI, USA
[get directions]

More by this Author

Comments 8 comments

plinka profile image

plinka 5 years ago from Budapest, Hungary

It sounds very delicious! I've bookmarked the recipe. These meatballs may be tasty with "hamis vadas" sauce as well. Voted up!

rjsadowski profile image

rjsadowski 5 years ago Author

They might taste well with "hamis vadas" sauce if I knew how to make it. Do you have a recipe? My dictionary translates that to a fake brown sauce. Is that Close?

plinka profile image

plinka 5 years ago from Budapest, Hungary

Yes, this is a "fake" sauce, because it doesn't contain meat. Beef is usually served with "vadas" sauce. To make this sauce, you should cook onions, carrots and parsley with bay leaves, sugar and black pepper. You can add water or broth to it or a little white wine. To get a thick sauce, you should blend the vegetables and add some flour, sour cream and mustard to it. Season it with salt, black pepper, lemon (and sugar). The sauce itself is sour and sweet at the same time. It has a nice orange color because of carrots and has a smooth texture due to sour cream.

rjsadowski profile image

rjsadowski 5 years ago Author

Thank you so much. I was in Hungary in 1990 and I fell in love with the country and the people. A friend of mine, Tom Peterdy, who fled Hungary when the Russians moved in, introduced me to the poetry of Sandor Petofi and I managed to translate Szeptember Vegen into English. It is still one of my favorite poems.

plinka profile image

plinka 5 years ago from Budapest, Hungary

I've thought that you have Hungarian ancestors. It must have been a hard job to translate it into English. Guess, Pet?fi is quite popular in China as well. They even sing their poems. We have another great poet: Attila József. I translated one of his poems (Karóval jöttél)into English some years ago, but I'm not a master of poetry so I don't think that it's a good piece. :-)Have you published your translation on Hubpages? :-)

rjsadowski profile image

rjsadowski 5 years ago Author

I have had several friends of Hungarian-German heritage. Yes I puplished it on HubPages along with another one - A Negyokros Szeker.

angel115707 profile image

angel115707 5 years ago from Galveston, TX

Sounds yummy! I love this traditional sauce as well,this is more like my mother's and grandmothers....the Hub I made on Spaghetti is my father's high-end restaurant style, much more intense to eat, I love it too, but nothing quite like a mother's

Senoritaa profile image

Senoritaa 5 years ago

You've got a good many recipes out there. This one I am definitely going to try out. I love pasta, and this recipe sounds simple enough.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article