My Favorite Spaghetti & Meatball Recipes

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How to Cook Spaghetti & Meatballs

Spaghetti is so simple, so easy to make, so why am I telling you how to cook perfect spaghetti?

I’ve had bad, limp, soggy, overcooked spaghetti. That takes delicious and turns it into disaster.

I’ve decided to give a quick reminder for how to cook perfect spaghetti.

I’m also showing you some of my  favorite spaghetti and meatball recipes from modern to classic.

No matter what your tradition is, please cook the spaghetti right.

It absolutely cannot be overcooked or under-seasoned.

It is better for your digestion, and absorbs more slowly lowering the glycemic level.

 Spaghetti should have a bite to it, and some flavor.

Always use a LOT of water. Your spaghetti is less likely to stick, and will cook faster.

Salt right after water comes to a rapid boil and right before you add the spaghetti.

I have so many different takes on America’s favorite supper and I put them all in one place for you. These are not all of my spaghetti dishes, just spaghetti and meatball dishes. Before I show you that, I have to tell you something about my Italian family.

Growing up, we never ever ever ate meatballs with our spaghetti.

It was considered “americana” and simply wrong.

Pasta was a first course, served in a dish just like the picture above. That dish was then removed, spaghetti eating was done, and the meatballs came out and were served with salad. The meat never touched the pasta.

My Italian great grandmother, Carmella, brought this way of eating spaghetti and meatballs with her and it was nearly 80 before anyone broke with tradition.

I can’t exactly remember when we put the meatballs on top of the spaghetti, but I was an adult. To this day I like  my meatballs with salad, but I have also become fond of meatballs plopped on top of spaghetti.

Sometimes I like garden spaghetti, with no red sauce at all. This is a summery version.

Garden Spaghetti with Meatballs

Turkey meatballs help you cut the fat and can be pretty yummy for people avoiding red meat.

If red sauce is a must,  we need my Italian grandmother’s tomato sauce. (Way easier than you think).

Tomato Sauce by Angela Roberts

Prosciutto meatballs with homemade papparadelle is comfort food on steroids. This is homemade pasta, which only takes about 3 minutes or less to cook.

Paparadelle with Prosciutto Meatballs and Chunky Tomato Sauce by Angela Roberts

A foodie delight, homemade poppy seed noodles with prosciutto veal meatballs and a blueberry pear compote is a recipe taken right from an Italian magazine and it’s mind blowing (even if it doesn’t look it).

Meatballs with Blueberry Compote over Poppy Seed Pasta

Sometimes we take the leftovers and make a Spaghetti Pie.

Spaghetti Pie Recipe by angela roberts

Retro Rose can’t get enough of classic spaghetti and meatballs  You have to see the film clip in this post.Spaghetti and Meatballs by Angela Roberts

While nothing probably beats that classic take, but you could  go paleo using spaghetti squash and these paleo meatballs.

Paleo Homemade Italian Meatballs by Angela Roberts

I just have to share with you this favorite spaghetti dish that has no meatballs at all, but it has bucatini pasta, a very thick hollow spaghetti that is my husband’s all time favorite. If you’ve never had bucatini, you must try this dish.

 Bucatini all’Amatriciana is a 45 minute sauce made with pancetta and onions.


How do you like your spaghetti ? You know I really love hearing from you in the comments, and I will answer any questions you have.

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Spaghetti & Meatball Recipes

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

How to Cook Perfect Spaghetti

How to make that perfect spaghetti that is not overcooked or under-seasoned.
Prep Time8 minutes
Cook Time6 minutes
Total Time14 minutes
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Author: Angela Roberts


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • large pot with lid
  • 6 quarts water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ladle and bowl
  • collander


  • Bring water to a rapid boil
  • Add salt
  • Add Spaghetti
  • Put lid on.
  • Stir for first two minutes.
  • Watch the water doesn't bubble over.
  • You want that spaghetti boiling away to 3 minutes before package directions.
  • Taste strand. It should have a bite.
  • It will continue to cook in the sauce you put it in.
  • Drain pasta, but first reserve a cup of starchy water, which may be used to add back in to the sauce.
  • If using a tomato sauce, add some tomato sauce to pot, add spaghetti back in, and finish cooking a minute or so. Add in a little starchy water.


You will need to taste and test a few times to get this right.

Please follow me on instagram. If you make this recipe,  please tag me #spinachtiger.

If you love this recipe, please give it five stars. It means a lot. xoxo

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  1. 5 stars
    You are right on the mark. My mamma and papà didn’t like a plate full of different dishes all running together. I believe the idea was to enjoy your food and eat a little at a time. Now we are in such a hurry to get things “done” and use one plate to pile it all on. UGH!! I do enjoy a leisurely meal with time to savor each morsel. Great recipes!! I’m pinning and sharing.

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