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Pasta With Meatballs Recipe: A Delicious Family Recipe

Pasta with Meatballs is a classic of Italian Cuisine, the famous Spaghetti with Meatballs with which Italian immigrants in the United States cured homesickness.

This pasta is a really complete dish, perfect for the whole family and most importantly, delicious!

Pasta with meatballs is actually an integral part of the Italian regional gastronomic tradition that we have exported abroad with the various waves of immigration.

This popular cuisine of Italy is full of recipes reminiscent of pasta with meatballs.

Below are a few examples:

  • In Campania it is called pasta imbottita: short pasta, fried meatballs, smoked provola cheese and meat sauce. All in the oven, crispy and tasty.
  • Pasta seduta in Puglia: ziti, meat sauce, fried meatballs blanched in meat sauce and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. 
  • Pasta with meatballs Calabrian style: pecorino silano cheese, veal, eggs, parsley, soaked bread for medium-sized meatballs that cook directly in the sauce to be used as a condiment for fresh pasta.
  • Spaghetti alla chitarra with bullets in Abruzzo.

Why Is This Recipe The Best?

To me, this pasta is one of the best recipes out there, and I’m sure if you try it you’ll feel the same way.

It is easy to prepare: If you follow this recipe you will be amazed at the simplicity in the preparation of this delight.

The whole family will love it: Impossible not to enjoy a delicious pasta dish and meatballs.

What Goes In Pasta With Meatballs?

Sauce: This is the base of this recipe.

The procedure is simple, the ingredients are few but they must be of high quality in order to obtain excellent results.

In a saucepan it is first sautéed with a chopped mixture of aromas such as onion and garlic, herbs such as basil and oregano can be added, passata is added and half a glass of water.

The sauce must be stirred often in order to avoid it sticking to the pan and burning.

Meatballs: I always recommend making them at home, but if you really don’t have time to make them you can use frozen ones too.

As for the flavor, let us be guided by our tastes: we can choose beef, veal, pork or use mixed minced meat, in short, you choose what you prefer.

As for the consistency of our meatballs, the percentage of fat in the meat plays a fundamental role; using meat that is too lean will result in hard meatballs.

A small amount of fat in our mince instead allows us to make very soft meatballs!

To make the meatballs fantastically soft we use the trick of stale bread, but you can also use sandwich bread, breadcrumbs or simple breadcrumbs, and a little bit of milk added to the mixture makes the meatballs soft. 

As a last thing the eggs, which have the role of binding the dough, for every half kilo of mince I use two eggs.

Pasta: Many for the preparation of this recipe use spaghetti.

I used fusilli for this one, as I had those at home, but you can use any short pasta you prefer.

How To Make This Easy Pasta With Meatballs

This may seem like a difficult recipe to make, but it’s actually super simple.

In a bowl, mix the minced meat with the breadcrumbs, add the eggs, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and parsley. 

And we form the meatballs, cook the meatballs with olive oil in a pan and move on to the preparation of the sauce

In a pan, pour the oil, garlic and onion, fry and then add the tomato puree, water, salt, stir and cover with its own lid until boiling.

Immerse the meatballs and let them cook with the sauce.

Bring plenty of salted water to the boil, cook the pasta and drain when al dente, toss with the sauce and serve in a serving dish along with the meatballs.

Recipe Notes & Tips

If you prefer, instead of crumb and milk you can put a little bit of ricotta cheese.

To create a lighter dish, you can cook the meatballs in the oven.

You can replace grated parmesan cheese with pecorino, to give the meatballs a more intense flavor. 

To perfectly shape the meatballs, let the dough rest in the refrigerator for at least half an hour, so that it compacts well (wet your hands a bit);

To make them the same size, however, you can also use an ice cream scoop.

We also make sure that all the patties are the same size so that they all have the same cooking time.

See also:

For more delicious pasta recipes, click here.

Pasta With Meatballs Recipe

Yield: 4 portion

Pasta With Meatballs Recipe

Pasta With Meatballs Recipe

A delicious pasta recipe with meatballs, the way mom makes it.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 500g Ground veal or beef ( 1lb)
  • 500g Pasta ( 1.1 Lb)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons of breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons of milk
  • A bunch of parsley
  • 70g of Parmesan cheese ( 1/2 cup)
  • Basil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper as needed

For the Sauce

  • 1 Bottle tomato puree (‎700g / 24.5 Oz)
  • 1 Garlic
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 Basil leaves
  • Salt & pepper as needed


  1. In a large bowl, mix the minced meat with the breadcrumbs, add the eggs, parmesan cheese, milk, salt, pepper and parsley. You should get a soft but firm dough. If it is too soft, add more breadcrumbs. If dry, add a few tablespoons of milk.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together well. With damp hands, break off pieces of dough and begin to form meatballs.
  3. In a non-stick skillet, pour a generous swirl of olive oil and add a clove of garlic to flavor the oil. As soon as the garlic begins to sauté, add the meatballs and brown them in the oil on both sides.
  4. When they are ready, set the cooked meatballs aside and let's move on to making the sauce.
  5. Dice the onion. In a pan with two tablespoons of oil, add the onion and a clove of garlic, and let them soften for about 5 minutes. You can remove the garlic if you prefer.
  6. When they are well softened, pour in the tomato puree. In the same bottle of the puree add about 3/4 of water and add it to the puree, then add the basil and cook for about 15 minutes.
  7. Place all the meatballs in the tomato puree and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, then turn the heat down to low and let it cook for about 10 more minutes.
  8. In the meantime, boil the water for the pasta. When it starts to boil, add the salt to the water. When it boils, cook the pasta.
  9. Cook the pasta in the time indicated by the package, then drain directly into the pot with the sauce and meatballs.
  10. Saute the drained pasta over high heat in the sauce pan for a few minutes, turning frequently. Add more basil.
  11. Serve the pasta with the meatballs and a handful of parmesan.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 762Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 224mgSodium: 788mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 56g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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The pasta with meatballs will keep fresh in the fridge until the next day.

You can gratin them in the oven to warm it up.


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