Mediterranean Spaghetti and Meatballs

A few times per week, I’ll make something for dinner that we’ve never had before, but when I want to go back to the basics and taste something comfortable and familiar, it doesn’t get much better than spaghetti and meatballs.

As it turns out, until last week I hadn’t actually made spaghetti and meatballs in YEARS, because my previous attempts were a flop.

I know, how can you mess up meatballs? Well, if your head was in the clouds and you didn’t add an egg or two to the mixture, the chances are high that you won’t succeed. That, combined with rolling them around in a pan on the stovetop is just asking for trouble. (That is, until I actually learn how to do meatballs on a stovetop pan without undercooking them.)

But, it seems I’ve finally learned the error of my ways. These meatballs turned out A-MAZING. The Mediterranean flavor comes from the lemon zest and parsley, and though it’s a unique addition, it only enhances the familiar flavor of this classic Italian dish.

This is one scrumptious meat-a-ball!

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PrintPrint Recipe

Mediterranean Spaghetti and Meatballs

Yield: Serves 4


For the sauce:

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 (28 oz.) can tomato puree

1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce

2 tsp. dried parsley

1 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

2 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. sugar

1/2 cup of water (or more)

For the meatballs:

1 pound ground beef

½ cup bread crumbs

2 eggs

½ cup Parmesan cheese

¼ cup minced onion

1 tbsp. minced garlic

1 tbsp. lemon zest

¼ cup parsley

Salt and pepper

For serving:

Spaghetti, cooked according to package

Shredded Parmesan cheese

Fresh basil, chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the sauce, heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion to the pot and saute until tender, 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, stirring, about 1 minute. Add the tomato puree, tomato sauce, parsley, basil, oregano, salt and sugar. Add water to thin the sauce out to your desired consistency. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for at least 2 hours.

To make the meatballs, in a medium mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly with your hands. Form the mixture into equal-sized meatballs and place onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.

Transfer spaghetti to serving dishes. Top each serving with sauce and meatballs. Garnish with shredded Parmesan and fresh basil, if desired.



6 Responses to “Mediterranean Spaghetti and Meatballs”

  1. #
    Anne — April 9, 2010 @ 12:05 am

    This looks SO good! We eat a lot of spaghetti at my house, so I’m always looking for ways to spice it up.

  2. #
    nina — April 9, 2010 @ 5:13 am

    This is good grub. I want to just dig into that photos. Excellent lighting…..I will follow you in fear of missing something this delicious again.

  3. #
    Cristina @TeenieCakes — April 9, 2010 @ 6:25 am

    Oh WOW! Does that look good! Even at 11:30 pm that photo makes me want a plate now! I need to make this.

  4. #
    Er Abhishek Haridasan — January 10, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

    I Want This Right Now…!!!

  5. #
    Wendy — June 20, 2012 @ 7:07 pm

    Can you tell me how much this serves. This looks great!

  6. #
    Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking — June 20, 2012 @ 10:20 pm

    This would serve 4. Enjoy!

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