Spaghetti & meatballs is a classic meal that is equally pleasing to both kids and adults. Kids love its tomato sauce and cheesy pasta, while adults love its comforting aroma and familiar flavor. It's such a crowd pleaser that everyone should know how to make it. If you haven't got a lot of time, cut to the chase and make the easy recipe. However if you have some time and want to give a more difficult recipe a try, make the harder version. No matter which one you choose, be sure to serve it with a green salad, garlic bread, and a glass of Italian wine! For both recipes,

Beginner Spaghetti & Meatballs
From Prego

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1 egg
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 jar (1 lb. 9 oz.) Marinara Italian Sauce
1 pkg. (16 oz.) spaghetti, cooked and drained
Grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Thoroughly mix beef, bread crumbs and egg in bowl. Shape mixture into 16 (1 1/2") meatballs.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and cook until browned. Remove meatballs. Pour off fat.
  3. Add pasta sauce. Heat to a boil.
  4. Return meatballs to skillet. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 min. or until meatballs are cooked through.
  5. Serve meatballs with sauce over pasta topped with cheese.

Serves 4.

Expert Spaghetti & Meatballs
From Ina Garten

For the meatballs:
1/2 pound ground veal
1/2 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)
1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 extra-large egg, beaten
Vegetable oil
Olive oil
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup good red wine, such as Chianti
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For serving:
1 1/2 pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
Freshly grated Parmesan
fresh basil leaves, optional for garnish

  1. Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You will have 14 to 16 meatballs.
  2. Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat the oil.
  3. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don't crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels. Discard the oil but don't clean the pan.
  4. For the sauce, heat the olive oil in the same pan. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  6. Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
  7. Garnish with fresh basil leaves if desires and serve hot on cooked spaghetti and pass the grated Parmesan.

Serves 6.