Spaghetti & Meatballs with Spicy Tomato Sauce

classic spaghetti & meatballs (the tastiest roasted pork meatballs) with a vibrant, slightly spicy tomato sauce

servings: 4



Spicy Tomato Sauce

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato purée
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes, or more to your liking
  • 2 large sprigs fresh oregano
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Spaghetti & Meatballs

  • 2 oz fresh italian bread, roughly chopped into small pieces
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • ½ lb mild italian sausage
  • ¼ cup grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more for topping
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for topping
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ lb spaghetti


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Prepare a sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper. Lightly oil the parchment. For the meatballs, place the chopped bread in a large mixing bowl and pour the warm water over top. Let soak, submerged, for at least 5 minutes.
  2. For the sauce, heat a medium Dutch oven (or heavy-bottomed pot) over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Once hot, add the minced shallots and garlic. Cook for a minute or so until softened. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
  3. Pour the white wine into the pot and simmer for a minute. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, red pepper flakes, oregano sprigs, and another pinch of salt. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to gently simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often (after 30 minutes, turn off the heat).
  4. Meanwhile, for the meatballs, heat a 12” skillet over medium heat. Add the butter. Once melted, add the minced shallots and garlic. Cook for a minute or so until softened. Stir in the granulated garlic and red pepper flakes. Turn off the heat.
  5. Add the ground pork, sausage, pecorino, parsley, salt, and shallot mixture to the bowl of bread. Mix until incorporated. Form the mixture into approximately 15 (2 oz) meatballs, packing them tightly. Place them onto the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and bake on the top rack of the oven (or the rack closest to the heat source) for 30 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
  6. When the meatballs have about 15 minutes left in the oven, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the spaghetti, stir well, and cook according to the package’s instructions.
  7. To finish the sauce, turn the heat back to low. Remove the oregano sprigs. Stir in the butter, parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season with salt to taste. Transfer the meatballs directly to the sauce and toss to coat. Use tongs to retrieve and transfer them to a serving dish.
  8. Drain the pasta and add it to the pot of remaining sauce. Stir well to coat. Plate the pasta with the meatballs on top or alongside. Spoon over any extra sauce. Top with a generous sprinkling of pecorino and parsley.