Spaghetti noodles topped with marinara sauce and 2 meatballs on a white plate.

The ultimate in Italian comfort food.

Growing up, our extended family would gather at my Grandma’s every Sunday for the traditional Sunday dinner (which, in contrast to common nomenclature, is actually eaten by Italians at what is typically lunchtime). While there was always some type of meat on the table, some potatoes and vegetables, the star of dinner was always pasta. It may have been ravioli, gnocchi, manicotti, lasagna, spaghetti (all homemade, of course), or some other variation of pasta, but without a doubt, you could always count on a great pasta dish. It feels warm, comfortable, cozy, and just like home. And for that reason I am submitting my spaghetti and meatballs into What’s For Lunch Honey’s Monthly Mingle Comfort Foods blog event.

Monthly mingle events graphic.

Meeta asked fellow bloggers to celebrate the foods that pick us up when we are down, warms us when we are feeling lost, and blurs out the bad mood. This is what spaghetti and meatballs represent in my house… the warmth of family, memories of childhood, and a connection to my heritage.

I hope you enjoy these simple and classic recipes.

Spaghetti noodles topped with marinara sauce and 2 meatballs on a white plate.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

This spaghetti sauce is so much better than anything you'll get n a jar!
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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 28 oz. (793.79 g) can tomato puree
  • 28 oz. (793.79 ml) can tomato sauce
  • 2.5 teaspoons dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) dried basil
  • Water from rinsing extra sauce and puree from inside of cans
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar

Italian Meatballs:

  • 1 lb (453.59 g) ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup (54 g) Italian bread crumbs, divided
  • ½ cup (50 g) grated Romano cheese
  • ¼ cup (61 ml) milk
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) salt
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) garlic powder


  • 1. To make the Sauce: Saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat until onion is tender.
  • 2. Add tomato sauce, tomato puree, parsley, basil, water, salt, and sugar.
  • 3. Stir and lower heat to a slow simmer. This best if it's left to simmer for at least 2 hours.
  • 4. To make the Meatballs: Preheat oven to 350.
  • 5. Combine 1/4 cup of bread crumbs with milk and let soak for 10 minutes. Combine with all remaining ingredients and shape into balls.
  • 6. Cook for 30 minutes and then add to sauce. If you want to cook them the whole way in the oven, cook for 40-45 minutes, depending on size.
Calories: 512kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 38g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 125mg, Sodium: 1855mg, Potassium: 2053mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 26g, Vitamin A: 2035IU, Vitamin C: 38.5mg, Calcium: 270mg, Iron: 9.5mg

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