The best spaghetti and meatballs recipe

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The best spaghetti and meatballs recipe

Spaghetti and Meatballs
Photo by Jason Leung

There’s nothing quite like an authentic Italian dish that’s been passed down from generation to generation.


The Sugo

  • 100mL of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
  • ½ tbsp of salt
  • ¼ tbsp of pepper
  • A pinch of chilli flakes
  • 2 x 400g cans of pomodoro pelati (peeled tomatoes)
  • 700mL jar of passata
  • A heavy handful of roughly chopped parsley
  • 8 large basil leaves, ripped a few times over

The Balls

  • 1kg of organic minced beef
  • 500g sugo from the previous recipe
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup of breadcrumbs
  • 6 tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup of finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of ground black pepper
  • 2 slices of bread
  • ½ cup of milk


  • 2 packets of spaghetti
  • Additional parmesan, chilli flakes and olive oil for serving


The Sugo

  1. Heat half the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot.
  2. Add garlic, onion, salt, pepper and chilli then cook for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add cans of pomodoro pelati, passata and the rest of the oil to the saucepan and bring to a delicate simmer.
  4. Leave simmering for one hour, adding parsley and basil at 30 minutes and stirring from time to time.

The Meatballs

  1. Combine eggs, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl using a fork.
  2. Add then beef, then using your hands, work together the mixture for approximately 5 minutes or until it’s well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, soak 2 slices of bread in milk for around 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the bread from the bowl, squeezing the excess milk from the bread, and rip the slices four times over.
  5. Add the bread to the meatball mixture and continue to use your hands to work the mixture together until combined.
  6. Form the mixture into 1 ½-inch diameter meatballs.
  7. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of a large skillet and heat over medium-low heat.
  8. Working in batches, add the meatballs and fry lightly for 2 minutes, rotating the balls to ensure all surfaces have been cooked.
  9. Add the sugo to the pan – this creates a luscious meaty flavour to the sugo – and cook for approximately 20 minutes.
  10. Fill a separate medium-sized saucepan three-quarters full with salted water and bring to the boil.
  11. Add spaghetti and cook until al dente (approximately ten minutes).
  12. Use tongs to transfer the pasta straight from the water to serving bowls.
  13. Add generous scoops of sugo along with meatballs in their sauce on top of the pasta.
  14. Top with Parmesan cheese, chilli flakes and a drizzle of olive oil.

E buon appetito!