After a long Sunday and a few days off from working out, I knew I was going to hit the gym hard on Monday and wanted something comforting for dinner. I actually have never made spaghetti and meatballs before, and my boyfriend loves pasta, so it was a easy decision.

I like this recipe because you make the meatballs while the tomato sauce is simmering, and it all comes together at the end. You can also make the sauce or the meatballs ahead of time, and it’s a great left over dish for either pasta or meat ball subs the next day.

To make the sauce, some onions are cooked over medium low heat until translucent.

Then crushed tomatoes and garlic are added to the pot along with salt, pepper, and if you like heat, red chili flakes. The sauce is simmered slowly for about an hour.

While the sauce is simmering, you can make the meatballs. One thing to note is that I only made 1/3 of the recipe for both the sauce and the meatballs. Even this was more than two meals for both of us.

First, some eggs, Parmesan cheese, carmelized onion, milk soaked bread, chopped fresh Parsley and oregano, lemon zest, salt and pepper are mixed together. I like mixing by hand because it ensures even distribution.

I like mixing by hand because it ensures even distribution.

Next, ground chuck, ground pork, and ground veal are added. I also finely chopped some bacon and added them to the mix. This is not a part of the recipe, but I thought the fat from the bacon would keep the meatballs moist.

The meatballs are formed into ping-pong sized rounds with wet hands, any bigger would make them hard to cook through and eat.

The meatballs are browned in a pan with about 1/4 inch of olive oil on medium heat. It’s important to not crowd the pan, so the meatballs should be cooked in batches. Also it’s helpful to observe the browness of the meatballs and adjust the heat as you go along. They don’t have to be cooked completely at this point, just browned on the outside.

The meatballs are drained on paper towels first. This will ensure the meatballs aren’t too greasy before they go into the sauce, and it will keep the sauce from becoming too oily.

The meatballs are placed into the tomato sauce and simmered for 30-40 minutes. If it gets too dry, you can add some stock to thin the sauce down.

About 15 minutes before you are ready to serve the dish, you can start on the pasta, cooking per package instructions. The sauce and meatballs are mixed in with drained Spaghetti, and I like to put a little bit of shaved Parmesan on top.

I completed the meal with a simple arugula, bibb lettuce, tomato, and heart of artichoke salad, as well as some store bought Italian bread.

Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe: