Not all meatballs are created equal. But Ina Garten’s Real Meatballs and Spaghetti recipe sets the standard.
It sets the curve against which you grade all other meatballs.
This recipe is the stuff of legend, and for good reason.
It features tender, flavorful, 3-meat meatballs and a rich tomato and wine sauce. It is everything you want in a classic Italian meal.
So, slip on your comfiest sweatpants and grab a glass of vino. Get ready to indulge in some delicious carby goodness.
Ina Garten’s Real Meatballs and Spaghetti
Ina Garten’s meatballs and spaghetti recipe is classic comfort food. Ideal for satisfying all your cravings.
Juicy meatballs, hearty tomato sauce, and perfectly cooked spaghetti create a flavorful and filling meal.
The herbs and spices in the recipe, such as parsley, nutmeg, and garlic, add depth. And they complement the natural flavors of the meat and tomatoes.
I promise it will leave you feeling warm and content.
If you have dietary restrictions, you can make substitutions to the recipe. You can use vegan or gluten-free replacements as needed.
However, you do it- the combination of flavors is delicious! Plus, this recipe is perfect for a weeknight dinner or elegant party.
- Meat- There are no meatballs without meat. This recipe uses ground veal, pork, and beef.
- Spices and Herbs- Nutmeg brings subtle sweetness and a distinct aroma, while pepper adds bold heat. And parsley adds a bright and fresh note to the mix. And no recipe is complete without salt and pepper!
- Breadcrumbs- Breadcrumbs add flavor and texture. Plus, they help the meatballs stay moist.
- Oil and eggs – The oil helps keep the meat moist and tender. The eggs act as a binding agent that holds everything together.
- Veggies- No sauce is complete without onion and garlic. They are like the building blocks of any savory dish. Crushed tomatoes make up the bulk of the sauce.
- Wine- Red wine adds depth and complexity to the sauce. But it also compliments the overall meaty flavors in the dish.
- Spaghetti and Parmesan- Spaghetti is a delicious base for this dish. Parmesan ties all the flavors together.
How to Make Ina Garten’s Meatballs and Spaghetti
Step 1: Make the Meatballs
Start by combining the ground meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Gently mix everything together with a fork.
Then, use your hands to form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. This should yield around 14 to 16 meatballs.
Heat a mixture of vegetable oil and olive oil in a large skillet.
Once hot, add the meatballs in batches and cook them over medium-low heat. They are ready when they are brown on all sides.
Remove the browned meatballs and set them aside on a plate lined with paper towels.
Step 2: Make the Sauce
Add olive oil to the same pan. Heat it up and then sauté the onion until it turns translucent. Follow up with garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Pour in the wine and cook over high heat until the sauce has thickened. Stir continuously, scraping up the brown bits in the pan.
Add the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper to the pan and stir everything together.
Step 3: Combine and Simmer
Add the browned meatballs back into the skillet with the sauce.
Cover the skillet and let the meatballs simmer on low heat for 25-30 minutes.
Step 4: Serve
When the meatballs are ready, serve them hot cooked spaghetti and sprinkle Parmesan on top.
You can also experiment with other cheese and toppings like fresh parsley or Ricotta.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- Soak the breadcrumbs. Soak breadcrumbs in milk before adding them to the meat mixture for a super moist meatball.
- Better yet- make fresh breadcrumbs. Freshly toasted breadcrumbs have so much flavor!
- Don’t overmix the meat! Mix the meat mixture gently and avoid overmixing, as it can make the meatballs tough.
- Chill the meatballs first. Refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This helps them hold their shape and prevent them from falling apart.
- Use the right pan. Use a heavy-bottomed pan to cook the meatballs evenly and prevent burning.
How to Store
Don’t waste your delicious spaghetti and meatballs!
Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
When you’re ready to indulge, sprinkle some water on top for moisture. Then, toss the meatballs in the microwave for a quick reheat.
You can also reheat them in a pan on medium heat for a few minutes.
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