Is there anything more revered for family meals than Spaghetti and Meatballs? Not in our home, at least. It seems that everyone will cancel plans, turn off the electronics, sit, talk, and bond over this classic dinner. I like to make my own homemade classic sauce (recipe included at end of post) and serve it up with Johnsonville® Meatballs, delicious garlic bread, a salad or veggie, gourmet cheese, and a bottle of red wine. It's just pure heaven. Let's go through how to get perfect spaghetti and meatballs every time. 'Cause I have some tips and tricks to help it be fool-proof each and every time. I tell ya, we just celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary (holy cow y'all!), and after that many years a girl learns a few things!
I use frozen meatballs (like Johnsonville® classic Italian style) because they are fast, hearty, delicious, and easy to keep on hand. They help me spit out a fantastic spaghetti dinner in no time flat. Feel free to use them...you'll be glad you did!
My spaghetti sauce is a classic tomato sauce with very few frills and adaptations. I don't add veggies or meats...just good ol' tomatoes. But once you've made the classic you might want to jazz it up to suit YOUR style. I have some tips, variations, and add-ins to get you started below.
Tips & Tricks for perfect noodles:
- be sure to salt your water
- always use a large enough pot for boiling your noodles!
- add a bit of oil to the water to help prevent the noodles from sticking later
- use HOT water for rinsing your finished pasta
- put your finished pasta into a WARM dish (just run hot water over it for a bit and dry it) to help prevent sticking
- add a drop or two of butter or oil to the finished pasta to prevent sticking while you serve
Tips & Tricks for great sauce:
- use a tomato paste or soup to keep your sauce thick
- rather than water in your recipe try using wine for a richer taste
- add fresh veggies such as celery, pepper, mushroom, or spinach when sauteing the onions
- canned tomatoes make the sauce much faster! most any variety works.
- add a chopped fresh tomato or two (if using canned for the majority of the recipe) for a greater fresh taste.
- dried herbs are just fine but try fresh whenever possible
- allowing your sauce to simmer on the stove for several hours gives a deeper depth of taste (try using your slowcooker!)
- thaw your veggies, meats, etc. BEFORE putting them into your sauce or your sauce will get a bit too watery. (you could also decrease the amount of liquid to counteract the extra liquid)
- add additional sugar, hot sauce, herbs, garlic, etc. to create YOUR perfect sauce.
Below is our family's favorite spaghetti sauce. Try it and put your twist on it. I'd LOVE to hear what YOUR family loves for their perfect spaghetti dinner. Do you have garlic bread? Salad? Do you twirl or slurp your pasta? Or...are you a pasta cutter? Whatever, however your family eats their pasta, it warms our hearts to know that at any given time that we sit down for our favorite dinner some other family in another part of the world is doing the same thing with THEIR favorite dinner.
P.S. Our family is spaghetti twirler's :)
Classic Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 onion diced
- 4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 to matoes chopeed
- 1 28 oz jar crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup wine water, or broth
- 1 jar tomato paste
- 3 teaspoons dried basil use fresh, if you can
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 package Johnsonville® Meatballs Italian Style
- Saute onions and garlic in the butter or oil until about 6 minutes on medium heat until translucent. (if you are adding additional veggies, add them in this step increasing the oil or butter as needed)
- Add the tomatoes, paste, herbs, salt, pepper, brown sugar, meatballs, and liquid.
- Bring to low boil.
- Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes.
- Add additional liquid, herbs, or salt & pepper and heat through.