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What would you use instead of the breadcrumbs to make the meatballs gluten free?!
Hi Katrin. Some people will substitute breadcrumbs made from GF bread. Just take a few pieces of GF bread and let them get stale/leave them out on the counter or toast them lightly. Give them a whir in a food processor and you’ve got your own breadcrumbs. You can also buy GF breadcrumbs; I don’t know where you live but I saw them at Shop-Rite last week. Hope this helps!
Elise, can you tell me if this recipe should use the hot Italian sausage or the sweet Italian sausage? Thank you!
Hi Ag, we usually use a quarter pound of each, hot and sweet.
One of the most frequent dish I’m doing for my family and friends
this is a little more elaborate than i normally do.(i threw in over roast garlic & chopped olive in the meat ball.)wow. it’s so good.
These have been my go-to meatballs for almost 10 years. They’re declicious. Not mushy and bland like so many meatballs I’ve tried. I make a huge batch for the FREEZER by doubling the recipe, forming the balls, and then storing them in Ziploc bags with a meal-sized portion for my family. (Usually make about 7 or 8 dinners-worth for my family of 4.) Thank you so much for this recipe!!!
I basically followed the recipe closely but with a few minor changes – doubled the recipe, used Laura’s Lean (92%) beef not higher-fat type called for in recipe (and it amounted to about 2.2 lbs not 2.0 lbs but it was fine), used Hunt’s brand tomatoes and pulsed lightly with stick blender while still in the can (so didn’t use potato masher), and inadvertently doubled the herbs one time too many. Still, this was really great! The red wine is super, don’t skip it. I thought there would be too many carrots as I was dicing them, but it was fine and I would not change a thing in the sauce next time. Thank you Elise!
Absolute Goodness! I’ve never wrote in to a site before, but I just made this tonight, with little variation as to what I had on hand, and OMG….sooo good. My husband is on his way home and he is going to love this! Wonderful sauce, and the meatballs….I am in heaven. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe Elise! Your site is great, and I will be returning for more ;))
Try rolling the meatballs in Italian Breadcrumbs and baking them, turning until evenly browned, rather than sauteing in olive oil. This gets rid of a lot of grease.
You might try adding some chopped eggplant to the saute for the sauce and some sliced black olives
They did not work for me and the meat balls tasted weird but other than that thanks for the recipe .
just made it last night. Kids went crazy. I added Salmon heads in the sauce and cooked all day. Great flav. make sure you take the heads out before serving.
Well that’s an interesting addition. So glad it worked for you. ~Elise
Fantastic! Most recipes call for pork which we do not eat, so I used chicken Italian sausages and the beef to make the most incredible meatballs. The sauce had a nice full bodied flavor too. I served this with angel hair pasta and a nice Ceasar salad, for a wonderful family meal!
Just made this for dinner tonight and both my kids loved it! Thanks for the delicious recipe!!
What can I substitute for the bulk Italian sausage? I don’t think I can find that in my country.
I wish we could post pictures…turned out fantastic. We used Dutch hamburger and pork, grass fed and organic which gives a stronger flavor. French olive oil, and tomatoes from Italy. Grana Padano parm is the best. Served it with a big Barolo. We’re lucky we have easy access to high quality ingredients.
I started making these meatballs for my family several months ago. They absolutely love them. My 7-year-old son has a habit of eating just the meatballs and leaving the pasta. They don’t ever want me to make plain spaghetti with meat sauce anymore, just spaghetti and meatballs. I’ve wondered if they would turn out well if I baked them in the oven instead of pan searing them, because it seems to take so long to do it, and it’s my least favorite part.
You could try baking them, but I think you’ll get better browning (and flavor) if you pan sear them. ~Elise
When I want a great recipe, this is the first place I look. This spaghetti and meatballs recipe did not let me down!! My sweetie could not stop saying that it was the best spaghetti he had in his life. Thank you so much for your website. It has all but replaced my enormous cookbook library.
Yesterday I made this with slight variations and it turned out delicious!
For the sauce I did not have mushrooms on hand and used 1 can of diced tomatoes and 1 can Italian stewed. I added 1/2 chopped fresh jalapeno pepper to the sauce.
For the meatballs I used 1 lb of ground venison (the venison had some sausage mixed in) and 8 oz of regular breakfast sausage. Again, there were no mushrooms. I used panko in place of breadcrumbs.
The sauce was so thick and complimenting to the meatballs. The slightly crunchy carrots gave the sauce great texture. The meatballs were very moist and tender inside. What a comforting meal!
I made this and it was SO GOOD!! It’s a keeper for our family. The only thing I will change is the choice of noodles. The bucatini are fun for kids but even they were struggeling to get the noodles in their mouths. They are almost cumbersome and get a bit frustrating after a while. Other than that, I LOVE this recipe!
My favorite food to eat since I was little was and still is spaghetti. I’ve been trying out different sauce recipes for many years and decided to try yours. this is by far the most tastiest sauce recipe I have ever made. It is really delicious, I enjoyed making it and eating it.
I made this a few months ago and it has become a permanent part of our rotation. My brother in law said they were the best he’d ever tasted, and he loves meatballs. Thank you!
(P.S. I sub in extra breadcrumbs instead of mushrooms and it works fine!)