Classic spaghetti and meatballs


  • Prep Time30 mins
  • Total Time1 hr
  • Makes6 servings
Classic spaghetti and meatballs

Photo, Erik Putz.

Chatelaine Triple Tested

A pasta-night classic you can master on the first try. From the homemade sauce to tasty beef and pork meatballs, spaghetti and meatballs a cozy meal you can enjoy any night of the week.


  • 225 g lean ground beef

  • 225 g lean ground pork

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 1/2 onion, grated

  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan

  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp pepper

  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided


  • 1/2 onion, chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 796-mL can San Marzano whole plum tomatoes

  • 2 tsp granulated sugar

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • pinch hot-red-chili-flakes, (optional)

  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus more for garnish (optional)

  • 450 g spaghetti pasta


  • MEATBALLS: Combine beef, pork, egg, onion, parmesan, bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix with hands until evenly combined.

  • SCOOP mixture by heaping tablespoonful and form into balls. Place on a baking sheet. Rinse hands as needed to make it easier to form balls.

  • HEAT 2 tbsp oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add half the meatballs and cook until browned on all sides, about 4 min. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate. Add remaining 1 tbsp oil and repeat with remaining meatballs.

  • SAUCE: Reduce heat in same pot to medium-low. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened, 2 to 3 min. Stir in tomato paste and cook 2 min. Crush tomatoes with fingers and add to pot, then add sugar, salt and hot-pepper flakes, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 min. Stir in parmesan.

  • RETURN meatballs and any juices to pot and stir gently into sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook over low until meatballs are cooked through, 15 min, stirring a few times, being careful to avoid breaking up meatballs.

  • BOIL spaghetti in a large pot of salted water, following package directions. Drain, then divide pasta among plates and top with meatballs and sauce. Top spaghetti and meatballs with more parmesan.

Kitchen Tip: Regular canned plum tomatoes will work in this sauce, but use San Marzano for the best flavour. It’s worth it!