Print Recipe

Italian Meatballs with Pasta

A classic and delicious Italian comfort food
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 14 Large Meatballs



  • 2 lbs of lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 1/2 cups of dried bread crumbs preferably panko
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for the table later
  • 2 tbsp of finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp of finely chipped fresh basil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 small yellow onion spanish finely chopped
  • 2 28 oz cans of whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil best quality you can find
  • 1 tsp of salt and pepper and more to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped basil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp salt


  • 1 box of spaghetti you can use a whole box of ziti, penne or rigatoni as a substitute



  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a large bowl combine your dried breadcrumbs and milk and let sit for a couple minutes to let the bread crumbs absorb the milk
  • Next add 3 cloves of minced garlic, 2 tbsp of chopped basil, 2 tbsp of chopped parsley and 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan and mix well.
  • Now, take in the amazing scent!
  • Next add your ground beef and beaten eggs along with 1 tsp of salt and pepper
  • With your hands gently work all of the ingredients together.
  • Grab a large sheet pan (or oven proof heavy bottom pan) and place next to your bowl.
  • Start grabbing your meatball mixture and gently roll your meatballs into round balls about the size of a small scoop of ice cream and place on your sheet pan.
  • Repeat this until all the meatballs are made.
  • Once all the meatballs are on the sheet pan, drizzle them all with a little olive oil which will help them get that nice outer crust when cooking.
  • Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the meatballs are nicely browned and crisp.

Sauce Instructions

  • In a large pot over medium heat, add your olive oil, red pepper flakes, onions and garlic and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until the onions begin to soften.
  • Now add your canned whole tomatoes and with a potato masher or with a large spoon, begin gently pressing down on the whole tomatoes so they begin to break apart.
  • Next, add 1 tbsp of fresh basil, 1 tbsp of salt and 1 tbsp of dried oregano and stir well.
  • Cover with a tight fitting lid and turn down heat down to low and allow to gently simmer for at least one hour.
  • Once your meatballs are fully cooked, with a flat spatula carefully begin removing them from the sheet pan and adding them into the pot of red sauce.
  • Make sure you coat all the meatballs with the sauce.
  • Now go ahead and add your tbsp of butter and gently mix that into the sauce.
  • Cook for another 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and see if it needs any salt.
  • For spaghetti:
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove.
  • When the water is boiling salt it well and follow the instructions on the box of pasta for cooking to al dente.
  • Once the pasta if cooked drain the pasta and place it back into the pot.
  • Add 1 ladle of the red sauce to the pasta and mix well to prevent it from sticking to itself.
  • Serve:
  • You can plate this family style by placing your pasta in a large platter style bowl and scooping out the meatballs over top and then pour your sauce right over that.
  • Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy!