Meat and Poultry, Pasta, Pizza, Risotto

Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs

Loreto January 4, 2020

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Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs, our take on an Italian/American classic where East meets West in a most loving passionate embrace. However, we kick it up a notch with some great ingredients and homemade pasta. How does that sound for a dish for the New Year?

Song of the day: “A Handful of Soul” by Mario Biondi.

Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs-on the plate

Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs. Think tender delicate homemade spaghetti meets a rich sweet tomato sauce and to keep it even more interesting handmade amazingly seasoned tender packed with flavor meatballs!

 

 

East meets West…………………………….

As I am writing this, Nicoletta is in Rome. It is hard being apart, however, I am glad that she does not have to suffer the winter and has a break in the sunny skies of the forever beautiful Italian city. This Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs is kind of like a story. The story of Loreto meets Nicoletta. The result, classic traditional Italian technique meets passionate foodie combining great ingredients and desire to an end result that is absolutely a mouth-watering affair!

Back in the Day………………….

I remember being Italian back in the sixties. Felt like a stranger because of what we ate, how we celebrated, and the fact that my name was changed to suit people was not something I enjoyed. I remember kids making fun of what we ate and soon Italians were adapting to fit in, even to the point that they made up their own language that was an embellished English with a side flare of Italian.

Boy am I glad how things have evolved and how food has broken those borders. However, I have to say some great food has been born due to this melding of culture like this  Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs. Truthfully in Italy we never serve meatballs on Spaghetti; they are usually served separately during another stage of the several course meal, we call it Secondo. However when in Canada…………………………………

Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs-sauce in the pot

Into the Kitchen We Go…………………

  • First things first, we have to get the meatballs made. This is a hands all-in affair. Totally needs some foodie love. So, with that being said, into a bowl go all the ingredients for the meatballs. Breadcrumbs, spices, Parmigiano, milk-soaked bread, herbs. Now in with your hands and get all those wonderful jewels well blended and well incorporated, and into the fridge to marinate for a few hours.

It’s all about the sauce, the sauce, the sauce……………..

  • One thing we believe is to use great ingredients and with that, pick a really good quality San Marzano tomato marked D.O.P.  Meaning made in Italy and grown in the area. The result, sweet rich tomato sauce.
  • Secondly, we need some sauteed minced onion and whole garlic to get the sauce started, then fresh torn basil leaves. After the sauce is done we take out the garlic, this will ensure that the garlic won’t overpower the flavor of the tomato and herbs. I like to put some dried chili flakes just to kick it up a notch. I also add a pinch of sugar to soothe the acidity of the tomato, and a splash of tomato paste.
  • Last thing with the sauce, it is time to leave it on very low heat to simmer and build in richness, texture, and flavor, the rest is history!

Roll-em   Roll-em   Roll-em………….

  • So, the sauce is simmering, the meat has marinated, now time to form those delicious morsels of Italian love.
  • I take a heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture then place that in the palm of my hand. Using pressing and circular rotations with one hand over the other I shape them into nice small rounds and place them on a sheet.
  • When the meatballs are all formed get some E.V.O. oil heated up in a pan and in goes the meatballs to be browned.
  • When we are done we take the lid off the sauce and in they go gently to be soothed and embraced by the rich tomato sauce!

Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs-meatballs in the sauce

Pasta making time……………………..

This is where Nicoletta comes in and works her amazing hand magic. I call her the dough whisperer. She starts the dough in a food processor then works it on a work board I made for her. I have to say we are a great team and love working with and helping each other. I think it makes the food taste FANTASTICO

  • An important step is after you have needed the dough it needs to rest. Nicoletta puts a bowl over the dough ball she has formed, this will keep the dough moist.
  • With the aid of the KitchenAid and pasta attachment, she rolls out pasta sheets. How you ask, well, she cuts the dough into slices and starts at one on the pasta dial. On the first run before hitting number two on the dial she folds the dough to get it more even and rectangular. This goes on until she hits the desired thickness. We like number six because it is spaghetti and we don’t want them too thin. As a result, nice texture and flavor!
  • Once all the sheets are rolled out and dusted with some semolina flour, time to cut the spaghetti. Attach the cutter and off we go one sheet at a time.

Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs-pasta sheetsHomemade Spaghetti and Meatballs-pasta  

  • When the sheet is rolled through and the spaghetti comes out, handle it gently and spin it to form a spiral. Dust again with the semolina flour after you place it on a sheet. That’s it, pasta is done.

Guess What? It is almost time to eat some Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs……………………

  • All that is left is to cook the pasta. Get a large pot of salted water on boil. Shake off the pasta spirals and into the pot, it goes.
  • Do not add oil to the water. This only makes the spaghetti slick and no sauce will cling to it. A no no in Italian cooking. We want that sauce to hold on tight and dance some flavor into the pasta.
  • 3-5 minutes and this pasta is ready to rock and roll to the flavors of Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs!

Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs-two plates

Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs, Mangia Mangia!

Look at this plate, clean, colorful. The aroma is all there. Time to get my fork and get all twirled up in the spaghetti!

Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs-hand on plate

Ooooooooh the pasta is beautiful. Delicate,  tender,  light, furthermore al dente and deliciously coated with the tomato sauce. I love how sweet and rich the sauce is and that little bit of heat really adds a nice hit to pop the flavor a bit. Now, let’s taste these meatballs. Yum, moist and full of fantastic herb-seasoned flavor. Tender, melt in your mouth good as that sauce has just tenderized and flavored this beef to no end.  Simply scrumptious!

The New Year…….

I know everyone is thinking to themselves, need to diet, watch what I eat, prepare some light meals. Strangely enough, this dish served in the right portion is not only healthy but light. I guarantee you will feel so good and wonderful. The only challenge is saying no to the second helping. I have a cure for that, what if I told you that if you heat this up tomorrow in a hot pan, it gets all groovy and crispy full of flavor. I think that would stop you from having that second dish. Trust me on the pan thing. I really want to hear what you think after trying it.

Inspiring thought!

I believe that you have to cook and have fun all at the same time. Life gives you plenty of seriousness. Fun is therapeutic, however, warning after laughing a lot and making this dish you are going to have some sore smiling muscles, I assure you. However, it feels so good to smile authentically and all that goodness is going to go into this dish of Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs!

Enjoy!

Song of the Day: “A Handful of Soul” by Mario Biondi.

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Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs-on the plate

Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs

  • Author: Loreto and Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs. Think tender delicate homemade spaghetti meets a rich, sweet, tomato sauce and to keep it even more interesting, handmade amazingly seasoned, tender, packed with flavor meatballs!


Ingredients

For the Homemade Pasta:

  • 160 g flour 00 (or all-purpose)
  • 40 g semolina flour
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • a few drops of water, if necessary

For the Meatballs (makes 16 meatballs):

  • 500 g ground lean beef
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • pinch of paprika
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 slice of bread soaked in milk
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano

For the Sauce:

  • 796 ml San Marzano tomatoes (1 large can)
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, whole
  • 34 basil leaves
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

For the Homemade Pasta:

  1. In the bowl of a mixer add the flours, the teaspoon of olive oil, the pinch of salt, and crack the eggs in.
  2. Pulse until a raggedy dough starts to form. Add a few drops of water if necessary. Mix on low until somewhat smooth.
  3. Transfer the dough onto a work surface and keep kneading the dough over onto itself, turning and folding, using some good force to get that dough nice and smooth. The final texture should be soft and the dough velvety to the touch, and elastic.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball. Cover in plastic or with a bowl and let rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Take dough and cut into four even pieces.
  6. Using one piece at a time (keep the other pieces under the bowl so they do not dry out), lightly dust with semolina flour. Flatten the piece of dough and start rolling it in the pasta machine, starting from the lowest number on your machine.
  7. Dust sheet with extra semolina flour, then repeat. Adjust the knob up one number with each pass through until your pasta sheet is thin enough to see the outline of your hand. (Number 6 of the KitchenAid).
  8. Lay sheet on semolina floured surface (not overlapping). Repeat until all dough is finished.
  9. Attach the Spaghetti pasta cutting attachment to the pasta maker. Cut sheets with the spaghetti attachment running each sheet through.
  10. Swirl and make a nest with the spaghetti, place on a floured baking sheet and dust more semolina on top.

For the Meatballs:

  1. Break up ground beef and place into a large bowl.
  2. Add in all the ingredients for the meatballs, then, using your hands, mix and blend until well incorporated.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight if you want.
  4. Take meatballs out of the fridge, scoop a heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture into your palm. Using light pressure and circular motion with one hand over the other shape the meatballs. When done place on a sheet.
  5. Heat up e.v.o. oil in a large saute pan. Place meatballs and saute, turning so meatballs brown all over, around 10 minutes.
  6. When browned, take out of the pan and place onto a paper-lined dish.

For the Tomato Sauce:

  1. In a large skillet, heat the extra virgin olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Add garlic whole, and minced onion and sautée until softened.
  3. Add canned San Marzano tomatoes pureed or roughly chopped, the fresh basil leaves, tomato paste, pinch of sugar, salt and pepper.
  4. Stir and let simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, or until desired consistency, stirring every now and then.
  5. Add the meatballs to the sauce and let simmer on low.

Final Steps

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add the fresh spaghetti to the boiling water, stir gently and cook until al dente or until pasta starts to float to the top (about 3-5 minutes).
  3. Drain, plate the spaghetti and add the tomato sauce on top, with one or two meatballs. Dust plenty of Parmigiano Reggiano (optional: add chili flakes).
  4. Enjoy!

Notes

For the meatballs, you can use a blend of ground pork and beef, and some also use some ground veal.

Homemade spaghetti cook faster than the dry variety. If you’re using store-bought spaghetti, look to the package for cooking time. Don’t hesitate to taste your pasta for texture, you do not want to overcook either one.

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Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs

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11 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply Mimi January 7, 2020 at 6:25 am

    My real father was Sicilian, and when I finally met his Italian American family, I was so sad to find out that no one cooked! We had dinner at an uncle’s house, and his wife opened a jar of sauce!!! So even if this dish has been Americanized, at least it’s made from scratch. The meatballs are beautiful. And that sauce!!!

  • Loreto Nardelli
    Reply Loreto Nardelli January 7, 2020 at 11:33 am

    Thank you so much. Making it from scratch is really fulfilling and not to mention delicious. From those succulent moist tender saucy meatballs to the pasta that is done beautifully aldente’ and that sauce rich sweet tomatoey, yummalicious! Well worth the work in a loving kitchen!

  • Avatar
    Reply Joss January 21, 2020 at 8:07 pm

    I’m always eager to try your pasta dishes. The classic spaghetti and meatballs is a beautiful thing, thanks for this lovely recipe!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 22, 2020 at 6:34 am

      You are very welcome Joss, It makes us very happy to hear that you are trying our recipes. This homemade spaghetti and meatballs is a good one.
      Happy cooking!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 25, 2020 at 7:52 pm

      You so welcome Joss and Thanks to you for liking our recipes!
      Happy Pasta day is today!

  • Avatar
    Reply Denise@urbnspice January 22, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    How wonderful it is for me to read through your story and your recipe for Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs, Loreto and Nicoletta. I love tag-teaming with my husband the same way you do in the kitchen. There is such pleasure in this for people who love food with passion. Yes, fun is therapeutic – I wholeheartedly agree with you. Your recipe shows this ten-fold. Thanks so much for sharing such a special recipe.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 25, 2020 at 7:49 pm

      Thank you so much Denise. Those were such lovely words that we felt so whole heatedly. It is nice to hear from like minded people and as let the fun begin!
      Have a wonderful cooking week! Here’s to all of us passionate foodie couples!
      Cheers!

  • Avatar
    Reply Sabrina January 22, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    I absolutely love this classic, from-scratch spaghetti and meatballs recipe. Homemade pasta is so tender and delicious and the simple, sweet tomato sauce on top is divine! Thanks:-)

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 25, 2020 at 7:44 pm

      Hi Sabrina you are so welcome. We are glad you like this one. You described homemade pasta so well. I am so craving it right now! Thank you for taking the time to check out this Post!
      Cheers!

  • Avatar
    Reply Katherine | Love In My Oven January 22, 2020 at 8:12 pm

    I really need to get a pasta maker so I can make my own! Whenever I taste it at someone else’s house or at a restaurant, the difference amazes me! This looks so good!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 25, 2020 at 7:42 pm

      Thank you Katherine. I agree get that pasta machine you won’t be sorry and it is so easy to make pasta. Then you can make this dish which will please any family member!
      Manifesting a pasta machine for you ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
      lol.

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