Grandma's Spaghetti & Meatballs




Introduction: Grandma's Spaghetti & Meatballs

This recipe is from my grandmother who emigrated from Italy early in the 20th Century.  The spaghetti sauce and meatballs are very easy to assemble but the flavor and thickness of the sauce only comes with hours of simmering.  There is no way to hurry this along!  But, if you want a basic, savory sauce with tender meatballs, this is the one.  Simmer the sauce with the meatballs for at least 4 hours!

A few of the ingredients are a little whacky...mustard, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup...but we still hold to the recipe and the flavor and consistency is always there.  I experiment with other recipes, not this one.



Combine ingredients in a 2 quart sauce pan and bring to a slow simmer while you make the meatballs.

1 can Contadina tomato paste (6 oz.)
Add 10 cans of water
2 T. prepared yellow mustard
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 t. oregano
1 t. sage
Salt & pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.

1 lb. ground beef (not lean, use 75/25 or 8/20)
21 crushed saltines
1 large egg
1-2 T. ketchup
1 t. sage
Salt & Pepper to taste

Mix the meatballs by hand and roll into 1 1/2 inch balls.  In a skillet, heat 1 T. olive oil over medium low heat.  Brown meatballs on all sides.  When almost done, add the chopped garlic and onion to the skillet and cook until transparent and starting to brown.  Carefully transfer meatballs, onion, and garlic to your simmering spaghetti sauce.

Cover sauce with a lid that does not cover completely and allow to slowly simmer for at least four hours.  When done, prepare your favorite spaghetti until al dente.  Mix the sauce with the spaghetti and place the meatballs on top.

Serves 4-6.

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    4 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I'm making this tonight :) I'll get back to you after it's completely eaten. Looks delicious!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I think I'll give it a try. The Worcestershire sauce and mustard are an unusual enough couple of ingredients for spaghetti sauce to interest me. But, the garlic and onions aren't called out on the ingredient list.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    You are so right! While 1-2 chopped garlic cloves and 1/2 cup chopped onion was often optional when prepared, I think they are required ingredients. They should be on the list.