These are my favorite meatballs to eat. In fact right now, I’m thinking it’s time to make them again. However, this is no light undertaking. This is a seriously bad ass recipe that takes about 10–12 hours to make. But they are so delicious and they freeze beautifully so you can get a lot of meals from one meatball-making marathon.
I have a good friend who loves to cook. His claim to fame was his spaghetti and meatball recipe (and why I nicknamed him Meatball Man). Boy did he like to brag about those meatballs! It turns out that he had every right to brag. These meatballs and his sauce tasted amazing. But he kept his recipe a secret. Would I ever find out how he made it?
One day I was at his place to watch some football. We decided to make his sauce and meatballs during the games. I saw my chance and grabbed an envelope to write the recipe on. (With permission of course.)
It’s made with every day ingredients, most of which you probably already have or that are easy to find. It does take all day so I recommend starting early in the morning. When I finally tried this out myself, I made the sauce one day and did the meatballs a couple of days later.
This recipe makes a lot of meatballs. But the sauce and meatballs freeze beautifully. Plus, it is a fun recipe to share. I made it for five adults and two children and I had plenty of leftovers to share.
This is the recipe as I made it. All the tasters thought it was great. Please read the entire recipe before starting. It gets intense once you get to the meatballs.
Super Secret Spaghetti and Meatball Recipe
Cut up 2 large onions.
Sauté 2 large cans of tomato paste (or 4–6 small cans) in 1/3 cup of olive oil until it’s well blended.
Add 1 TB Pepper
2 TB Oregano
1 ½ tsp. Fennel
1 TB Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. Garlic powder
4 large cans of tomatoes—hand crush them into the sauce. ( I used two large cans of crushed and added extra water.)
Add ½ can of water
Add 2 tsp. sugar
1 square of dark chocolate
Simmer for about 10 hours on low. If you have a gas stove, use a diffuser. If you are doing this all in one day, start the meatballs at the 7 or 8 hour mark.
If you have a kitchen aid you can use it here. That’s what Meatball Man did. Use the BREAD HOOK. Add the following to the bowl:
2lbs ground chuck
1lb ground pork
1lb Italian sausage
Start mixer on low.
12 eggs (3 eggs at a time)
5 cloves of minced garlic
1 ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
¼ cup of breadcrumbs
2 cups of Parmesan cheese
When the meat, seasonings, and binders are all mixed well, refrigerate for about an hour.
Cooking the Meatballs
Here is the BIG secret. The meatballs are cooked three times. It’s a pain. But it tastes good. Do it. But be careful! I burned two fingers my first time around.
Form meat into large balls. Use about 1/3 cup of meat for each one. I formed the balls and placed them on a cookie sheet.
At this point, you need to have 3 pans on the stove.
- A saucepan to hold the sauce with room to add 4 pounds of meat.
- A large pan for boiling water. I used an eight-quart stainless.
- Something to fry the meatballs in. I used my medium Le Creuset. You could use a
frying pan but I was trying to cut down on splatters.
Here’s the basic process.
Carefully add a few meatballs to the fry pan/pot. Fry the meatballs until they are browned all over. I used tongs to move the meatballs to the frying pan. I used a spatula to loosen them from the bottom and turn them. Then carefully put them in the boiling water.
Let the meatballs boil for a few minutes. When Meatball Man did it they sank to the bottom and then floated to the top. Mine floated the whole time. I let them boil until the next group was browned. Then you put them in the sauce.
I cooked them in the sauce for another hour.
At that point, serve them however you want. I like extra Parmesan on top. If you want it to look pretty throw some chopped parsley on top. I’ve eaten these plain in a bowl, on top of greens, on pasta, and on top of spaghetti squash. It’s all good. For those of you that still eat bread, I hear a meatball sandwich is tasty too.
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I'm a former counselor, career services leader, and college advisor. Now I coach and write at My Think Big Life promoting health and personal growth.