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spaghetti and meatballs: make on day 1, eat on day 2

pork meatballs

Patience is a virtue. I made this spaghetti and meatball masterpiece on Friday afternoon. 2.0’s family was planning a visit for Saturday evening, so I wanted a crowd pleaser that could be assembled at the last minute when I got home from the studio. When I did a little taste test, it was good. But when we ate it on Saturday, it was awesome. It was that night spent in the refrigerator that made all the difference. Good things come to those who wait.


The meatballs for this recipe are baked. Tasty little bite-sized meat nuggets. The sauce had a tang on day one, but the all-night party in the fridge brought everything together. So, by day two, the sauce was smooth and utterly divine. And after a long day at work on Saturday, it was easy to cook some pasta and re-heat the sauce in minutes. That’s the way to make yourself look like a freakin’ genius, people.

Plates were cleaned, bread was used to sop up sauce, shirts were covered with tomato splatter. In my eyes, that’s a meal gone right.

spaghetti and meatballs

We served five hungry adults and one child with this recipe, and still had lots leftover. Guess what I had for lunch today?

. . .

Spaghetti and Meatballs – sauce by movita, meatballs adapted from Bon Appétit – download

for the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups diced sweet yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes in juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 200 ml red wine
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 cup cream

Heat olive oil in large pot over medium low heat. Add onion and sauté for about 10 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Stir in the red wine. Add the tomatoes (and their juice), the sugar and the basil, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the parmesan cheese and cream.

for the meatballs:

  • 2/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet (I use olive oil). Mix breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Mix in the parmesan cheese, onion, basil, egg, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the sausage and mix well. Form mixture into 1 1/4 inch sized meatballs. Place on the baking sheet, and bake until the meatballs are light brown and cooked through (about 30 minutes). Add the meatballs to sauce.

bring it together:

Once the meatballs have been cooked, add them to the sauce. Stir well. You could serve over pasta immediately or (and this is way better), allow the mixture to cool and place in refrigerator over night. Re-heat over low heat and serve over spaghetti or linguini.


  1. emmalina73 on March 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Ok I am really hungry now and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t wait!

  2. movita beaucoup on May 11, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Comments on this post are now closed as it was published in March 2011. Happy cooking!