Go Back
+ servings
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Grandma's Sauce

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Grandma's Sauce is a timeless classic recipe passed on for generations with some gluten-free and egg free options.
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Mains
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8
Calories: 531kcal
Author: HWC Magazine


Grandma's Tomato Sauce (makes about 4 cups)

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
    peeled and sliced
  • 1 onion
    medium peeled and cut in half.
  • 12-15 whole cloves
    to stud the onion with.
  • 56 oz canned tomatoes
    crushed tin tomatoes) (My kids dislike chunky tomato sauce so I blend one half of tomatoes in blender before adding to sauce)
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
    or sugar alternative this helps to neutralize the acidity taste in the tomatoes.
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
    (or can use dried basil, dried thyme and dried oregano mix)
  • salt and pepper
    to taste
  • 6 basil fresh or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • hot pepper flakes Dash of hot pepper flakes (optional)- gives it a little sparkle

Grandma's Homemade Meatballs: (Makes about 12-15 meatballs)

  • ½ pound ground veal
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 1.25 cups breadcrumbs ( I used gluten-free breadcrumbs)
  • 3 cloves garlic
    peeled and chopped or 1 teaspoon dried garlic powder.
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
    or enough to wet the breadcrumbs (gluten free)
  • 2 tablespoon parsley
    fresh chopped
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
    (or if egg allergies like me then exchange with 2 tablespoons of soft tofu)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
    1 inch cubes (optional if you want your meatballs stuffed)
  • oil spray
  • 1 pound spaghetti cooked aldente (I used gluten free but can use whole grain or regular)


  • Make Grandmas Sauce:  Place the pointed end of the 12-15 cloves and pierce into peeled whole onion so that you have a "studded onion". Next put 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauce pan on medium heat and then place whole clove studded onion in oil and brown over medium meat for about 5 minutes until the flavors are infused into the oil. Remove whole onion. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute until golden brown. Then add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine, sugar, salt, pepper and basil. Turn down the heat to low simmer and cook nice and slow for about and hour. If sauce consistency is too thick then add more wine or water and if sauce is too thin then add more paste to suite your preference. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Set Aside.
  • Made Grandma's Homemade Meatballs:   Preheat oven to 350 F (176 C). Place the ground meats, both breadcrumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg (or tofu if egg allergies), and ¾ cup chicken broth in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You will have 14 to 16 meatballs. (My youngest teenager came up with this great idea to stuff each meatball in the center with a cube of mozzarella before baking and it is delicious) Lightly spray a baking sheet and place meatballs a few inches apart and bake in oven for about 7 minutes just until they are slightly golden on the outside but still pink in the middle. Place the meatballs in the grandma sauce over a simmer and cook them the rest of the way in the sauce about another 7-8 minutes until they are cooked through and deliciously tender.
  • Cook spaghetti noodles in boiling water until adente and serve with Grandma's homemade tomato sauce and meatballs and grate parmesean cheese on top and serve with crusty bread. Enjoy!


Don't throw away your clove studded onion. Remove the cloves and add to any of your next favorite dishes that need a chopped onion.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 531kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 807mg | Potassium: 1204mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 929IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 220mg | Iron: 6mg