Fresh From Nancy's Garden

A Fun Place For Gardening Tips and Great Recipes

Fettuccine (Or Spaghetti) & Meatballs

Winter–comfort food–pasta. What more can I say? Even though the weather in Laguna Beach has been warmer than summer I’ve been craving good, old fashioned comfort food. For me, that means pasta…and lots of it. It’s even more satisfying with home-made meatballs. I’ll admit in a pinch I’ll use the frozen ones from Costco (don’t think less of me) but there’s nothing better than authentic meatballs you make with love in your own kitchen.

I experimented recently with ingredients and came up with a whole new version using spicy Italian sausage instead of beef and pork. What a great discovery–I can’t imagine using anything but Johnson’s spicy Italian bulk sausage!

Give it a try–you’ll be surprised how good–and easy it is.


  • 1 lb. spicy Italian sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 TBS fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 TBS milk
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 cans (28 oz.) whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano–(you can use tomato sauce, it will be almost as good)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TBS Italian seasoning
  • 3 TBS Parmesan cheese
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 6 large basil leaves, torn
1 lb. box fettuccine or spaghetti
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to top pasta

If you want really authentic sauce, use whole tomatoes and put them through the food mill. It really does make a difference.

Heat large pot over medium high and add olive oil, onion and garlic. Cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium-low heat for at least a half hour as you prepare the meatballs. Add the torn basil and continue to simmer.

The meatballs are so easy to make. Just put all the ingredients in a large bowl and with clean hands mix thoroughly. Form into 2 inch balls. Heat pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Put meatballs in pan–don’t crowd–make two batches if you have to.

Cook and turn until nicely browned all over, about 10 minutes.

Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook until the meatballs are fully cooked. I like to leave them at low on the stove for at least an hour so all the flavors blend.

Cook the spaghetti or fettuccine according to directions on the box. Drain. Return to the hot pan and ladle one scoop of sauce into the pasta to lightly coat it. 

Place the pasta in a large bowl and top with sauce and meatballs. Add a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese, take a bite and…you’ll be in heaven.

This is definitely my new favorite way to make meatballs–and I think it will be yours too!

Don’t forget, read it first at Stu News.

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