Spaghetti and Meatballs

This classic Italian comfort food needs no introduction; zesty, hearty, and a total crowd-pleaser, this meal brings out the kid in everyone. For all its wonderful flavor, this recipe is surprisingly easy to make. Serve with a green salad and crusty bread for a table full of happy diners!

PREP TIME: 25 minutes
COOK TIME: 1 hours 0 minutes

For the meatballs:
3/4 pounds ground beef (we used 80/20)
3/4 pounds ground pork
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cups bread crumbs
2 eggs
3/4 cups parmesan, grated
1/4 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-2 ounces milk
1/2 cup olive oil

For the tomato sauce:
1 whole yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes (we like San Marzano)
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
Ground black pepper
1/4 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
2 pounds spaghetti noodles, cooked to al dente

Make the meatballs: mix meat, garlic, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, eggs, salt, pepper, parsley, and a splash of milk. Mix with hands only to combine -- do not overwork mixture or the meat will become tough. Roll into 1 1/2" balls and place on a cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet into the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to firm up the meatballs.

To brown the meatballs, heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs, and turn to brown. Don't overcrowd the pan -- you my have to brown the meatballs in batches, depending on the size of your pan. Drain meatballs on paper towels and set aside.

Make the sauce: in the same pot, add the onions and cook for thee-four minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, garlic and wine. With a wooden spoon, mash the tomatoes slightly to break them apart. Add salt, pepper, sugar, and parsley. Stir to combine and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.

Add meatballs to pot and stir in gently. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Serve over cooked spaghetti. Garnish with more parmesan and extra parsley, if you like.