Spaghetti and Meatballs

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Spaghetti and meatballs have been in the family for generations.  We are not Italian and there is nothing fancy or fussy about our meatballs, in fact it’s probably straight out of a 1950’s cookbook.  You’ll note there are no fresh tomatoes.  But of all the spaghetti in my life, even after being to Italy six times, nothing ever tastes perfectly right except Mom’s.  I guess there’s more to it then just the spaghetti.

Now, three generations later (or is it four?), it tastes the same as it did when I was eight, sitting down to watch Hee Haw with my brothers and a TV tray on Saturday night.   Since then it’s been a part of holidays, homecomings, married life, and is the most reliable dinner we make for the kids.  We make it when family comes to visit because it’s easy and smells good simmering on the stove.  And in every country where we’ve lived, we’ve always been able to find all the ingredients.  So, on the blog it goes!  The red Le Creuset filled with sauce is probably more deserving than any other recipe I have.



  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons minced celery leaves. ( The celery makes it better, but sometimes I don’t have celery and the meatballs still taste great)

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.

Mold the meat into balls, about the size of a walnut or whatever size you want.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until they get brown and look done.  After they cool, you can either toss them right into the sauce (the drippings make the sauce taste better), or freeze them first on a tray, then transfer them to a Ziploc freezer bag.

Spaghetti Sauce

  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can tomato paste + 1 can of water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar, or to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put all the ingredients into a medium saucepan, stir together, and heat until hot and steamy, about 15 minutes.

Add the cooked meatballs.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or on low heat for two hours.  The longer it simmers, the better it tastes.