Spaghetti and Meatballs for a Crowd

February 8, 2011 § 1 Comment

Of course, I don’t know how to cook for 1 or two people or even 3 or 4. I cook every meal for a crowd, and this one certainly makes a ton. Perfect for freezer leftovers, which I never do, but it works.

I’ve got to say that I’ve tried many a sauce and meatball recipe. This is now my go to recipe for sure. Be forewarned, it really does make a lot of sauce and takes either a huge pot or two to finish the meatballs in the sauce.


From ATK 2010.



2 1/4 cups (6oz) panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or 1 cup plain yogurt and 1/2 cup milk if that’s your preference)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
1 pound ground pork
6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped fine
1 1/2 cups (3 oz) grated Parmesan cheese
6 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin, dissolved in 3 tablespoons cold water
Salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups grated onion from 1 to 2 onions (Do as I do and use large holes on cheese grater, or grating blade on food processor)
6 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
6 cups tomato juice (bottled, use Campbell’s Tomato Juice)
3 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
6 tablespoons dry white wine
Salt and ground black pepper
Spaghetti (3 pounds if cooking for a crowd, otherwise just make what you need)
1/2 cup minced fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
Granulated sugar (I’ve not used this)
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

The Prep

Make the meatballs:
1.Place wire racks in 2 foil-lined rimmed baking sheets. Adjust oven racks to lower-middle and upper-middle positions, and preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Combine bread crumbs and buttermilk in large bowl and let sit, mashing occasionally with fork, until a smooth paste forms, about 10 minutes.
3. Add eggs, beef, pork, prosciutto, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, gelatin mixture, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper to bread crumb mixture. Gently mix everything with your hands until thoroughly combined.

4. Spray the wire racks with nonstick cooking spray (or rub them with olive oil). Form meatballs using about 1/4 cup of meat mixture per meatball, and space the meatballs out on the racks as you form them. You should end up with about 40 meatballs. Roast until browned, about 30 minutes, rotating trays from front to back and top to bottom halfway through.


Make the sauce:
1.While the meatballs roast, heat olive oil in a LARGE Dutch oven or other pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden around edges, 6 to 8 minutes.
2. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Stir in tomato juice, crushed tomatoes, wine, 1½ teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
Put it all together:
1. Remove meatballs from oven, and lower oven temperature to 300 degrees. Add meatballs to sauce, cover pot, and place in oven. Cook until meatballs are firm and sauce has thickened, about 1 hour.
The Finish:
1. Cook noodles of your choice.
2. When sauce is done in oven. Stir in basil and parsley into sauce and season with sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. Toss pasta with a little sauce.
3. Eat it up!




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