Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs made it onto the menu tonight.  I don’t always make my own sauce, but today I thought I’d share my homemade version with my mom’s meatball recipe.  I’m not quite adventurous enough to make the sauce from fresh tomatoes, but you certainly could!

To make this recipe gluten free, all you need to do is substitute two ingredients: the bread crumbs and pasta noodles.  That’s it – easy peasy!

I add grated carrot to this recipe for added invisible veggies!  And I grate the onion, too, so it melts into the sauce.

I always use 90/10 lean/fat ratio ground beef…80/20 is too oily, leaving oil to pool on top of the sauce (yuck).  90/10 meatballs will hold together well and not grease up your sauce!

The golden rule of ground beef is to handle it as little as possible; the more you mess with it, the tougher it becomes once cooked.  So use your fingers to incorporate the spices and breadcrumbs until just combined.

A classic comfort dish!  Add some Bubble Toast to make it even better!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Use gluten free breadcrumbs and pasta to make this dish gluten free!


  • 1 box (can) strained tomatoes (large size, around 28 ounces)
  • 1 box (can) crushed tomatoes (large size, around 28 ounces)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, grated
  • 1/2 cup onion, grated
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 16 box of spaghetti noodles


  • 1 pound ground beef (I prefer 90/10 sirloin)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I use Italian seasoned)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
  • few dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper, if desired


Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a dutch over or heavy stockpot.  Add grated carrot, onion, and garlic.  Saute until carrot is soft, about 5 minutes.

Add both boxes of tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, oregano, and rest of olive oil.  Stir, cover and simmer over medium-low heat.

To make the meatballs, combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Use your hands to gently incorporate seasonings into meat until just combined.

Form into golf ball-sized balls, and drop directly into simmering sauce.  Repeat until all meat is gone.

Cover meatballs with sauce, replace lid and simmer 30 to 45 minutes.  When meatballs are done, add salt to taste and stir.  Serve with homemade garlic bread.  Enjoy!


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