Spaghetti with Meatballs

It’s always hard planning weeknight dinners. I nearly always have a set menu for the weekends- Friday’s are Biryani days, Saturday mornings are pancakes & evenings are pizza & movie night, Sunday mornings are paratha anda and evenings are leftover Biryani. Simple! But come Monday and I face the inevitable question of what to cook everyday? Sigh!! I don’t completely plan my weeknight meals but I try to incorporate chicken, beef, fish and vegetarian options throughout to maintain a balanced diet.

What with errands, housework and volunteering, I’m always creating recipes to be simple without compromising on flavor. The first time I made Spaghetti and Meatballs, it was a disaster. Well, I knew it was a disaster but since I presented it to my family as Spaghetti Bolognese, they never knew that my meatballs had disintegrated into the sauce. 🤣

With a few more trials, I finally figured the best way to make this delicious dish. The trick is not to brown the meatballs before adding in the sauce. Just add them directly and they will cook and brown in the sauce. This is also a great time saver!

I am sharing my recipe below.

Spaghetti with Meatballs.

Recipe by: Leena Ali

Serves: 6

Ingredients for the Meatballs:

1 pound ground beef

2 cloves of garlic

1 small onion

1 jalapeño

1 piece of white bread

1 egg

1 tbsp black pepper powder

1/2 tsp red chili powder

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning powder

1 tsp dried parsley

Salt 1 tbsp or to taste


Soak the piece of white bread and squeeze all the water out with your hands. Keep aside.

In a food processor bowl, add onion, garlic and jalapeño. Process till everything is chopped and not mushy. Take them out in a bowl. In the same food processor bowl add the soaked white bread along with Italian seasoning, black pepper, red chili powder, & parsley. Process till the white bread is reduced to crumbs. Add the ground beef, chopped onion, garlic and jalapeño mixture, egg and salt. Process until everything is well combined. Take out the beef mixture in a bowl. Wrap the bowl & refrigerate until needed.

Ingredients for Sauce:

1 small onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic chopped

1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes

1 14oz can of tomato sauce

2 tbsp of tomato paste

1 tsp of crushed red pepper

1 tsp black pepper powder

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning powder

Salt 2 tbsp or to taste

3tbsp Olive oil


In a pot, heat oil and sauté chopped onion and garlic for 6-7 minutes on medium heat. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and combine well. Add in red pepper flakes, black pepper, basil, Italian seasoning and salt. Mix well. Cover the pot and simmer the sauce for 1 hour on low heat. As the hour is ending, start making meatballs with the beef mixture. Add them directly to the sauce and do not move them at all. Cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Check for seasoning and turn off heat.

Serve with boiled spaghetti.

Hope you enjoy this dish! It’s especially comforting in this chilly weather we are having in Philly right now.

Stay warm! ❤️

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