Making your sauce is always better—it’s cheaper and so much more flavorful. This one comes together in about 15 minutes and is the perfect accompaniment to the big garlicky meatballs. (If you have leftovers, try our Spaghetti & Meatball Cups. Kids LOVE them.)
1 lb. spaghetti
1 lb. ground beef
1/3 c. bread crumbs
1/4 c. finely chopped parsley
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 c. onion, finely chopped
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
Freshly ground black pepper
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain.
- In a large bowl, combine beef with bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, egg, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes. Mix until just combined then form into 16 balls.
- In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer meatballs to a plate.
- Add onion to pot and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Return meatballs to pot and cover. Simmer until sauce has thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Serve pasta with a healthy scoop of meatballs and sauce. Top with Parmesan before serving.