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Miniball Spaghetti at

We needed a quick meal and I hadn’t had spaghetti in a while so it was obviously time. This necessitated a choice. Marinara sauce and meatballs or meat sauce? Why not something in between? I made a nice marinara sauce and cooked small meatballs in the sauce. Welcome to Miniball Spaghetti.

I started by beating an egg in the bottom of a mixing bowl. I added dry bread crumbs and red wine. I mixed those together to make a paste. I added the ground beef, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, basil, oregano and parsley. Toss just until all is mixed.

Normally I would use fresh onion and garlic instead of the powders but the meatballs will be quite small and any chunky material would make them harder to form.

Miniball Spaghetti 1

I formed the meat mixture into 1/2 inch balls on a plate.

I preheated a large non-stick skillet to medium high and browned the balls, moving the skillet often to roll them around.

Miniball Spaghetti 2

While the meatballs were browning, I chopped the onion and garlic, opened the cans and measured the remaining seasonings.

Miniball Spaghetti 3

I took the browned meatballs out of the skillet. Pour off any excess oil.

Saute the onions until they are just transparent, about 4 minutes. Toss in the seasonings and cook for 30 seconds.

Miniball Spaghetti 4

Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and red wine. Bring to a boil. Add the meatballs and bring to the boil again. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes.

Miniball Spaghetti 5

Cook enough spaghetti for each person per package instructions. Serve with sauce and grated Parmesan cheese.

Miniball Spaghetti 6

Any left over sauce freezes well.

The Verdict

This has a nice fresh tomato taste and the small meatballs are fun to eat. They are not too firm and you don’t need to cut them up to eat them. Just spin them in your pasta and mangia!

The Old Fat Guy

Miniball Spaghetti

Yield: 6 servings

Miniball Spaghetti


  • Meatballs:
  • 1 egg
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) dry bread crumbs
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) red wine
  • 1 ml (1/4 teaspoon) pepper
  • 1 ml (1/4 teaspoon) salt
  • 2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) onion powder
  • 1 ml (1/4 teaspoon) garlic powder
  • 2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) dried basil
  • 2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) dried oregano
  • 500 grams (1 pound) lean ground beef
  • Sauce:
  • 250 ml (1 cup) diced onion
  • 25 ml (2 tablespoon) fresh oregano or 10 ml (2 teaspoon) dried
  • 15 ml (1 tablesoon) fresh thyme or 5 ml (1 teaspoon) dried
  • 25 ml (2 tablespoon) fresh basil or 10 ml (2 teaspoon) dried
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) parsley or 5 ml (1 teaspoon) dried
  • 1 ml (1/4 teaspoon) fennel seed
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 796 ml (27 ounces) canned diced tomatoes
  • 398 ml (13.5 ounces) canned tomato sauce
  • 156 ml (5.25 ounces) tomato paste
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) red wine


  1. Meatballs:
  2. Beat egg in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add bread crumbs and wine and mix.
  4. add remaining meatball ingredients and toss just to mix.
  5. Form into 1/2 inch balls.
  6. Saute until browned in a non stick skillet over medium high heat.
  7. Remove the meatballs and pour off any excess fat in the skillet.
  8. Sauce:
  9. Saute onions until transparent, about 4 minutes.
  10. Add seasonings and garlic. Saute for 30 seconds more.
  11. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and red wine.
  12. Bring to the boil.
  13. Add the meatballs. Return to the boil.
  14. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 30 minutes.
  15. Cook enough spaghetti for each person per package instructions.
  16. Serve sauce over pasta with grated Parmesan cheese.
  17. Any left over sauce freezes well.
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4 Responses

  1. Those teeny tiny meatballs are so cute! What a fun idea! I can certainly see why you went for powders over minced onion and garlic though.

  2. Quick, easy and delicious!! That’s the way I like it. The size of your meatballs are the same size that I use in my Wedding soup, and Chicken soup recipe. Great job as always!

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