February 16, 2012

Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs

Big, juicy meatballs simmered in a  bright  tomato sauce on top of tender pasta. A sprinkle of salty Parmesan and subtly sweet basil brings this dish together. With such a deep, rich flavor, what could be better?  The aroma that this creates in the house is absolutely drool-inducing. 

As said in other pasta posts, I am a carb freak. I love pasta, bread, muffins... mmmm! I had a huge craving for spaghetti and meatballs, but I know that normally they aren't very health-oriented! I didn't want anything greasy, so I decided to make it the focus of my recipe makeover for the week. This recipe not only brings you all the deliciousness of spaghetti and meatballs, but is half the calories and gives you a hearty, balanced, and flavor-packed dish. My family adored this recipe!

Spaghetti and Meatballs
Serves: 8
Serving Size: overflowing 1/2c. pasta, 3 meatballs, 1/3c sauce, and 1tbl grated Parmesan
Calories/Serving: 436

  • 13.25oz package of uncooked whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground beef
  • 1.2 pounds extra lean ground pork
  • 1/3c. Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4tsp pepper
  • 1/8tsp salt
  • 1/4tsp garlic powder
  • Cooking Spray
  • 3 cups Fire Roasted Tomato Marinara (seriously, use this recipe! It is super quick and the flavor is unmatched. Plus it is much lower in sodium/calories)
  • 1/2c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4c basil, finely sliced
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, breadcrumbs, egg, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. When thoroughly mixed together, divide the mixture into 24 large meatballs (I do this by dividing the whole thing in half. Divide each half in half. That will separate it into quarters. Divide each quarter in half. That leaves you with 8 balls of meat. Now, divide those eight balls each into 3. You now have 24 large meatballs!)
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet lightly coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Place the meatballs in the skillet, and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side (until golden brown). Once all the meatballs are golden on all sides (I usually have to turn them about 4 times), pour the 3 cups of marinara over the top of them. Place a lid on the meatballs and gently simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked all the way through. Make sure to check at 20 minutes to avoid overcooking.
  4. For each serving, take a bit more than 1/2c. pasta and ladle on 1/3c. sauce and 3 meatballs. Top with 1/2tbl basil and 1tbl grated Parmesan. Ta-da! This will last in the fridge for up to a week (Confession: I actually like it even more the next day!)


  1. The best thing about a classic recipe like this is the sheer number of variations there are. You can check any chef book and there will probably be at least 4 or 5 ways to make spaghetti with meatballs.

    1. It is so true! I love classics, partly because of that!


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