The Best Ever Spaghetti and Meatballs

The Best Ever Spaghetti and Meatballs

The title says it all. Seriously.

Want to take spaghetti and meatballs from  Sunday night’s kids’ dinner to OMG I’ll do almost anything, no absolutely anything, to shove this stuff in my mouth? I thought you might.

You’re in luck, it’s easy as a college kid at 2am on a Saturday night. And cheaper too.

The Best Ever Spaghetti and Meatballs

I begged and pleaded with a server at The Pourhouse a number of weeks ago to tell me the secret of their spaghetti and meatballs. Okay truth is I just asked; but begging and pleading sounds like a better story. The directions I was given were: roast tomatoes and garlic with olive oil and blend with basil. That’s it.

The sauce is rich and creamy as a carbonara without a bit of dairy in sight. The BEST ever spaghetti and meatballs.

The Best Ever Spaghetti and Meatballs

5.0 from 5 reviews
The Best Ever Spaghetti and Meatballs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This sauce is so rich and creamy you would swear it was loaded with parmesan.
Recipe type: Dinner/Pasta
The Endless Meal - Serves: 4
  • For the sauce:
  • 5 ripe tomatoes, cut in half
  • 8 cloves of garlic, whole
  • ⅓ cup basil leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • For the meatballs:
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ⅓ cup panko or bread crumbs
  • Oil for frying
  • Sea salt
  • To serve:
  • Pasta
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • basil leaves
  1. 1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Roast tomatoes and garlic with a generous amount of olive oil for at least 2 hours.
  2. 2. In a food processor or blender, blend tomatoes and garlic with basil, a good douse of olive oil and a generous bunch of sea salt. Set aside
  3. 3. In a large bowl, mix all meatball ingredients together and form into 1″ balls.
  4. 4. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add meatballs and sauté, turning frequently, for 30 minutes or until they are completely cooked though. Set aside
  5. To serve:
  6. 1. Toss pasta in a light coat of sauce and top with meatballs, parmesan and basil leaves.
  7. 2. Serve with a big glass of red wine
Keep an eye on the garlic after about 30-45 minutes. If it looks like it is getting a little too brown, take it out and set it aside until the tomatoes are finished cooking.

About Kristen

Kristen Stevens is the creator and editor of The Endless Meal. She is also the owner of a small underground restaurant in Vancouver, Canada.
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  1. Ashley says

    This recipe is delicious!!! The sauce is good enough on it’s own as a soup! I added the garlic to the tomatoes the last 30 minutes of roasting time. I doused the tomatoes with PLENTY of olive oil which I transferred to the blender as well. Also, I used a pack of spicy Italian sausage in place of ground pork. Delicious!!! Thank you!

  2. Kate says

    Hi there,

    So excited to make this recipe!! Just a quick question that may be on the silly side… 😛
    To roast the tomatoes, do I need a roast pan? Will a normal 9×13 baking dish do fine, or will I be in trouble? Just wanted to check before I attempted this awesome-looking recipe! Thanks :)

    • says

      Hi Kate,

      That should work just fine! I’ve used a few different sizes of pans when making this and it has always turned out. Enjoy!

    • says

      Hi Steve,

      I’ve used many different types of tomatoes and they’ve all worked great. Use whichever tomatoes at the grocery store look the ripest :)

  3. Lisa says

    How much is a generous bunch of sea salt? Over or under salted would not be great, so I’d like to know at least an approximate measure. Thanks – looking forward to trying this!

    • says

      Hi Lisa,

      I’m always hesitant to give exact measurements with salt. The saltiness of a dish will depend largely on what type of salt you use and your own taste buds.

      I would start with a few good pinches, blend, taste and go from there. When it tastes rich and incredibly delicious, stop adding salt.

  4. amber says

    the directions could be more clear about how to prepare the meatballs…they sort of fall apart in this method…per the directions.

    • Kristen says

      Hey Kimberly,

      Fresh basil leaves will make a world of difference. If you can, definitely use fresh basil. If you can’t find any you could substitute a pinch of dried basil or just leave it out :)

      Hope you love this recipe as much as I do!

  5. T says

    Step 3 is really to take the rest of the ingredients and combine to make the meatballs right? …Leaving the tomatoes / garlic blend aside which is the sauce? Sounds really good, thanks.

    • Kristen says

      Hey T,

      Yes, that’s right. I’ve just changed the directions to make it more clear, cause it definitely wasn’t :)

      Hope you fall in love with this spaghetti like I did!

  6. KK says

    Mix all ingredients together, form into 1″ balls and sauté in a pan, turning frequently, for 30 minutes. Set aside

    When you say “all ingredients” do you mean everything except for the garlic, tomatoes, and sea salt and basil? it would be helpful to separate the ingredients for the sauce vs. the meatballs for people who are novice cooks and need to follow recipes carefully.


    • Kristen says

      Hey K,

      Sorry that that wasn’t clear. I went back and re-read it and it definitely wasn’t!

      I’ve separated the ingredients for the sauce and meatballs so it should be clear now. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      And thank you for mentioning that it is helpful for novice cooks to have clear directions. I do forget that sometimes and I’ll have to keep that in mind!

  7. Alyssa says

    I put the garlic cloves in a separate dish, covered them with tin foil and set the timer for 1.5 hours to make sure they didn’t burn. They were burned to a crisp after an hour! Make sure to keep an eye on them and take them out ASAP!

    • Kristen says

      Hey Alyssa,

      Thank you for the feedback! Although this hasn’t happened to me whenever I make this recipe, I’m going to add a note to the recipe to help out other readers. Other than the crispy garlic, I hope it turned out for you :)

  8. Tracy says

    This recipe is delicious! I made it as soon as I saw your post. I roasted tomatoes and garlic for 1h and 30 min and that was plenty. One comment is that I would recommend roasting the garlic in container, covered with foil, separate from the tomatoes. Roasting the tomatoes uncovered is great as it helps concentrate the flavor as the juice evaporates. However 400 degrees for 2 hours in the oven will just completely dry out and char your garlic. If you want a little more roast on the garlic cloves, you can uncover for the last 20 minutes or so.

    • Kristen says

      Hi Tracey,

      That’s a great suggestion about covering the garlic. I actually took mine out before the end and just realized that I didn’t mention that in the recipe. So happy you enjoyed the recipe!

    • Kristen says

      Thanks, Tia! I just found out that my Grandma also used to use a mix of pork and beef for her meatballs. Guess she was onto something long before I was!


  1. […] Did you ever notice how much food is consumed in the Godfather movies?  It seems there are as many meals as killings.  There is nothing that says Italian comfort food than simple spaghetti and meatballs.  We really like Ina Garten’s recipe – it’s (almost) like what Grandma made.  Also take a look The Endless Meal website recipe. […]

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