Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Claire Spollen
Hands-on Time
1 Hour
Total Time
1 Hour 15 Mins
Serves 8 (serving size: 5 meatballs, about 3/4 cup sauce, and about 3/4 cup pasta)

Feed a crowd of 8 tonight, or cook 6 ounces pasta to serve 4 and freeze half the meatball mixture for later. Spoon into whole-wheat hoagie rolls instead of over pasta.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare sauce, heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add 1 cup chopped onion, 5 garlic cloves, and basil to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 450°.

Step 3

To prepare meatballs, coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. Tear bread into pieces, and place in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until fine crumbs form. Place breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/3 cup parsley, and next 6 ingredients (through eggs) in a large bowl; stir until combined. Shape into 40 meatballs (about 2 tablespoons each); arrange meatballs on prepared pans. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes. Add meatballs to tomato sauce; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Follow freezing instructions, or continue recipe.

Step 4

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Top pasta with meatball mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 3 tablespoons parsley.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Ratings & Reviews

GeeLisa's Review

February 24, 2015
My family liked this a lot and we had the meatballs both with spaghetti and as a meatball sub, which I never would've thought to make with the leftovers. I didn't have fresh parsley so I used dry instead. I thought the meatballs held together incredibly well for both meals. The sauce was excellent, well balanced and tasted like it cooked longer than it did. There was plenty of sauce for both meals.

steponme's Review

February 22, 2015
Good sauce. The meatballs could have been a little more moist, but the flavor was good. Served with whole wheat french bread and a tossed green salad.


March 24, 2015
I had to make 2 minor subs - forgot the tomato paste, so used ketchup.  I also skipped making my own bread crumbs and used store-bought instead.  This was a delicious dish, especially the meatballs.  The sausage made a huge difference in our opinion.  We will definitely have this dish on a regular basis.

good old-fashioned meatballs

April 15, 2015
Made meatballs to recipe.  Cheated on the sauce, used a jar of excellent Victoria low-sodium marinara & can of diced tomatoes as the base.  Very good supper, kinda old-fashioned but good.


April 18, 2017
OK, nothing special to want to make again.