It is officially spaghetti & meatball season…woo hoo! This is one of my favorite meals to have on a chilly evening, even better if it’s a Sunday Night and we can all sit at the table together. In this recipe, we’re kicking up the flavor, but still keeping things super kid-friendly. After all, who loves spaghetti & meatballs more than kids? If you’ve got the time, don’t be afraid to let this slowly simmer beyond the regular cook time. The longer the simmer, the more tender the meatballs will be, and the more the kids will go crazy for them. Don’t be afraid to double this recipe and freeze the extra sauce for a weeknight dinner back-up.
Classic Spaghetti and Parmesan Meatballs
- 1 pound ground round beef (85 percent lean)
- 3/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided use
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, or 1 tablespoon dried
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 can (28 ounces) Hunt’s(r) Diced Tomatoes, undrained
- 2 cups Hunt’s Tomato Sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, or 1 tablespoon dried
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
- 1 good pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 16 ounces dry spaghetti, uncooked
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine beef, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, parsley, egg, 1 teaspoon garlic and salt in medium bowl. Divide mixture into 12 portions; shape into meatballs and place on aluminum foil-lined shallow baking pan. Bake 15 minutes or until cooked through (160 degrees F).
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add remaining 2 teaspoons garlic, cook 1 minute more or until fragrant. Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, basil, sugar, and optional balsamic vinegar and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil. Add meatballs to sauce; gently stir to coat. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions, being sure to add salt to the water after it comes to a boil and before you add your noodles. Drain spaghetti; top with sauce and meatballs. Top with extra Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Recipe adapted from Hunt’s