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I was getting together with friends on a trip to watch a football game. We had rented a house and we wanted to stay in for a meal. I needed something I could make at home, carry in the cooler and would be good reheated. I immediately thought of Spaghetti and Meatballs. They are always better the next day.

The star of this meal is the meatballs. You need a well flavoured meatball that holds together but isn’t rubbery. I use a lot of seasonings and a touch of milk powder I thing gives a better texture.

This isn’t a fancy dish, it is just a good family meal that makes a lot of meatballs and sauce that can be frozen for future use.

I started by making the meatballs.

I put the fennel seeds and bay leaf in a coffee grinder I use for spices. I ground them to a coarse powder.

Then I added the rest of the meatball ingredients and mixed just until well blended.

I rolled the meat mixture into golf ball sized meatballs and browned them in batches and set them aside.

I mixed the sauce ingredients together in a large electric pan set at 250 F. You can also use a large Dutch oven.

Mix the gravy ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Add the meatballs and simmer for 2 hours.

You can make this a day or so ahead and reheat it for a meal. It also freezes well.

Serve it with spaghetti cooked according to the package directions and grated Parmesan.

The Verdict

This is nothing fancy. It is just tasty meatballs in a simple Italian tomato gravy. It is also the definition of comfort food.

The Old Fat Guy

Spaghetti & Meatballs

Spaghetti & Meatballs


  • Meatballs:
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 ml (1 1/2 teaspoon) fennel seed
  • 175 ml (3/4 cup) dry bread crumbs
  • 500 grams (1 pound) ground beef
  • 500 grams (1 pound) ground pork
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) grated parmesan cheese
  • 5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) salt
  • 2 ml (1/4 teaspoon) pepper
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) dried oregano
  • 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) dried thyme
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) dried basil
  • 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) ground coriander
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) paprika
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) dried milk powder
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) lemon juice
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) sugar
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) dry red wine
  • Gravy:
  • 2 cans (796 ml/28 oz) ground or puree tomatos
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) dried parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 250 grams (1/2 pound) sliced mushrooms
  • 250 ml (1 cup) red wine
  • 25 ml (2 tablespoons) dried basil
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) dried oregano
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) salt
  • 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) pepper
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) water


  1. Grind the fennel seeds and bay leaf to a coarse powder.
  2. Mix all the meatball ingredients together, just until mixed.
  3. Form into golf ball sized meatballs.
  4. Brown in batches over medium high heat and set aside.
  5. Mix the gravy ingredients together.
  6. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.
  7. Add the meatballs and simmer for 2 hours.
  8. Serve over cooked spaghetti with grated Parmesan Cheese
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