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Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs

Photo: Kate Sears; Styling: Toni Brogen
Prep time 15 mins
Cook time 15 mins
Yield Makes 4 servings
The few minutes it takes to prepare our Quick Marinara Sauce makes it worth your while. The meatballs themselves are light and tender due to the milk-softened breadcrumbs and egg yolk. (Using whole eggs can result in meatballs that are a bit rubbery in texture.)


  • 1/4 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 pound lean ground sirloin (or a combination of sirloin and pork)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano, divided
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup onion, finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • Quick Marinara Sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, if desired
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • 1 pound dried pasta, cooked according to package directions

How to Make It

  1. Combine breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl, and let soak 10 minutes. Combine ground sirloin, 1 tablespoon oregano, 1/2 cup grated cheese, and next 6 ingredients in another bowl. Stir in breadcrumb mixture, and form into 1 1/2-inch meatballs.

  2. Fill a 12-inch skillet or wide saucepan 1/4 inch deep with olive oil, and heat over medium-high heat. Add meatballs, and cook about 7 minutes or until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.

  3. Pour off fat from pan; add wine to pan, and simmer 1 minute. Stir in Quick Marinara Sauce, remaining 1 tablespoon oregano, and red pepper flakes, if desired. Bring to a boil; add meatballs, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in basil.

  4. Add drained cooked pasta, meatballs, and sauce to pot, and toss to combine. Serve with additional grated cheese.