Spaghetti and meatballs are a favorite in this house, and pretty much a family tradition. While I’m British born, my other half is Italian. Years ago when we first started dating I remember going to his mom’s house and having Sunday dinner. Quite often that meal consisted of some sort of pasta, more often than not, spaghetti and meatballs. It’s also one of our favorite ground beef dinner ideas of all time.
While his mom’s meatballs are good, I never could leave well enough alone and had to make my own version. I’ve been developing them over the years and finally perfected mine a couple of years ago. They are a favorite here and everyone loves them.
You’ve most likely heard me talk about my love for my ManPans wok. I used to have an old beat up saute pan that I cooked my meatballs and pasta in, then I received one of these beautiful ManPans 12 inch saute pans too! I LOVE this pan and used it recently to make Sunday dinner. They have different sized saute pans but the 12-inch is best for our big family. These pans really retain heat too, so you don’t need to keep your burners as high as you are used to. The handles don’t get hot and the pan is extremely light weight.
I originally heard about ManPans from my friend Suzanne of Thru the Bugs on my Windshield. She highly recommended their cookware so I made sure to add one to my arsenal. ManPans has exceptional customer service as well. I’ve had questions before and they have always answered me quickly and with the utmost professionalism, a joy to work with!
If interested, you can read a much more in depth review I’ve written on ManPans here.
I always start with the marinara, so that it can simmer a bit while I’m forming meatballs. The herbs in my sauce often depend on what’s growing in my garden at the time. Here I have Italian parsley, thyme, oregano, and basil. Combine the herbs, onion and garlic, tomatoes, and wine. Season with some freshly ground black pepper and a little garlic salt, then let it simmer.
A note on red wine. Port works great for this sauce, but so does a simple Shiraz. If you have a favorite, by all means, use it! :)
When you combine all of the meatball ingredients, use a fork instead of a spoon or your hands. This helps avoid overworking the meat, which can lead to tough meatballs.
In the picture above I didn’t roll the meatballs, just scooped the out with a cookie scoop. If you do roll them, which I also do, depends on my mood, just don’t overdo it. Roll just enough to form a ball and place in your saute pan with some olive oil. Brown on all sides, remove, deglaze pan with a few tablespoons of wine, then add sauce and meatballs and simmer.
Spaghetti and meatballs is one of those very personal meals. Some recipes have been handed down from generation to generation, sometimes changing along the way, sometimes remaining true to the ancestor’s original.
If you don’t have one in your family yet, I encourage you to try mine. We love it, and I hope you will too.