Home - Familystyle - Spaghetti and Meatballs, Familystyle

Spaghetti and Meatballs, Familystyle

5 from 1 vote

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Homestyle spaghetti and meatballs, a family Sunday supper favorite.

Familystyle Spaghetti and Meatballs

I experience New Year’s Day with mixed emotion.

As much as I love holding a new calendar fresh with possibilities for the year ahead, at the same time my head is spinning trying to process the one that just sped by, seemingly faster every time. What’s up with that?

I can only think it’s what happens when we’re living a full life – each day a series of events that unfolds onto the next.

But in the middle of the daily process of work and school; relationships with family, friends, dog…it becomes like a monotonous ride. Some mornings I feel like a character in Groundhog Day.

Italian parsley and Parmigiano cheese

Which is why I’m grateful for the few weeks in December when I can make a plan to unplug; to spend time to nourish myself and my family, with things like mornings without an alarm clock and a schedule with absolutely nothing on it.

And food, of course. There aren’t many things that connect us like time shared around the table, especially when a large platter of spaghetti and meatballs is sitting on top of it.

I’ve shared my personal attempt at my mother’s meatball recipe on this blog before, but this latest version has become all my own. If my mom were here to sit at my table, I think she’d approve.

Familystyle Spaghetti and Meatballs

More Familystyle Favorites:

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Sunday Gravy

Karen Tedesco
Classic family recipe for spaghetti and meatballs with tomato sauce, a/k/a Sunday gravy.
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings



  • 1 ½ pounds (680 g) ground beef
  • 1 ½ pounds (680 g) ground pork
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ cup (55 g) fresh bread crumbs *
  • cup chopped fresh parsley
  • cup (35 g) freshly grated Parmigiano, Romano or Asiago cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Large pinch crushed red pepper
  • Olive oil


  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or finely chopped
  • 1 28-ounce (794 ml) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce (422 g) can tomato puree
  • Pinch sugar
  • Fresh ground black pepper

To serve

  • 1 pound (450 g) spaghetti, cooked al dente
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese


To make the meatballs

  • Put the ground meats into a large bowl. Grate the onion over the bowl on the side of a large box grater. Add the remaining ingredients (except the olive oil) and mix together with your hands or a large fork until thoroughly combined. Form into 2-inch diameter balls and arrange on a large baking sheet.
  • Heat a large, deep sauté pan (12 –14-inches in diameter) over moderate heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan completely and heat for a minute or two before adding the meatballs. Cook until nicely browned on one side; carefully turn the meatballs with tongs or a spatula to brown the other side. Transfer the meatballs to a platter.
  • Drain the fat from the pan. (Note – if you don’t have a large sauté pan with at least 3 inch sides, fry the meatballs in a sauté pan, in batches if necessary so you don’t crowd the pan. Make the sauce in a separate wide saucepan or soup pot.)

To make the gravy

  • Place the pan back over moderate heat. Add the olive oil, onion and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook the onions until they become very soft. If they begin to brown, add a few tablespoons of water, lower the heat and cover the pan until they’re ready.
  • Stir in the garlic and cook for a minute, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, sugar and more salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook 15 minutes. Put the meatballs into the pan, cover and continue simmering for another 10 minutes or so.
  • Serve the sauce and meatballs over hot spaghetti or pasta, with plenty of cheese grated over.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

*To make fresh bread crumbs: Trim the crust from a large hunk of crusty peasant bread. Cut the bread into large pieces and toast 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Grind in a food processor to form fine crumbs. Keep extra crumbs in a covered container in the refrigerator or freezer.
Meatballs and sauce will keep refrigerated up to 5 days. Freeze up to 1 month.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 1008kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Sodium: 987mg | Potassium: 936mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 418IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 164mg | Iron: 5mg
Did you make this recipe? Mention @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Instagram

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

Leave a comment and star rating

Do you have a cooking question? Leave your comment below and let me know how I can help.

Did you love this recipe? Just click on the stars to leave a rating!

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.