Authentic Italian Spaghetti Sauce with meatballs Recipe

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This is an authentic Italian spaghetti sauce with meat balls recipe given to me by an Italian friend. It is cooked slowly during 6 to 8 hours but the result is well worth the time and effort.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 12


Cost per serving $1.63 view details


  2. Place all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl. Mix well and make small meatballs about 1 to 1 1/2 inch diameter. Once the meatballs are made, keep them refrigerated for 2 hours. You will be a adding the raw meatballs to the sauce after the first 2 hours of cooking.
  3. SAUCE:
  4. Now, cover the bottom of a large pot with cooking oil. Add the garlic cloves and cook slightly (do not brown) on medium heat. Add the 4 cans of tomato juice, green pepper (opt) and all the SPICES indicated in the ingredient list for the sauce. Mix all ingredients well and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, immediately turn down the heat and simmer between 6 to 8 hours.
  5. Once the sauce has simmered for 2 hours, add the refrigerated raw meatballs and continue the cooking time between 6 to 8 hours. The longer you simmer the sauce the thicker it will become. Stir often and GENTLY during the cooking time so you do not break down the meatballs and to prevent burning the meatballs.
  6. DO NOT PLACE A COVER ON THE POT, to let the water evaporate and thicken the sauce.
  7. You can serve the meatballs over spaghetti or spaghettini with a salad and garlic bread OR as they do in Italy, serve the meatballs with a baguette and spaghetti and tomato sauce separately. It is up to you. Either way, it is delicious.
  8. NOTE: Handle meatballs with care before and after they are cooked as they will break more easily than ordinary meatballs due to the added eggs, but they will be more airy, tender and tastier than store bought pre-cooked meatballs). Enjoy!


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 199g
Recipe makes 12 servings
Calories 489  
Calories from Fat 287 59%
Total Fat 31.86g 40%
Saturated Fat 12.71g 51%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 159mg 53%
Sodium 362mg 15%
Potassium 473mg 14%
Total Carbs 15.49g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1.1g 4%
Sugars 2.6g 2%
Protein 33.26g 53%
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  • ShaleeDP
    January 9, 2013
    I could try this meatballs recipe soon. I just did one recipe and this could be another variety.
    • MrsMo
      May 4, 2012
      the recipe is a bit confusing to me.

      in step 5 you say, "Mix all ingredients well and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally."

      then in step 6 you say to add the meatballs after 2 hours.

      now i'm not an authority on spaghetti sauces, but surely you don't allow the sauce to boil away for 2 hours uncovered, do you? i'm thinking about the sauces i've made in the past and they'd be all but gone after boiling for 2 hours. perhaps a gentle simmer would work, but not a constant boil. or do i need to go away and mind my own knitting? <g>

      2 replies
      • Micheline
        May 7, 2012
        After reading the recipe again, you are right it sounds confusing. What I meant to write was to bring it to a quick boil and then, immediately lower the temperature to a simmer and cook for 2 hours. After two hours of cooking add meatballs. I have edited it, hope this helps. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
        1 reply
        • MrsMo
          May 7, 2012
          thanks, mitch. i was pretty sure that was what you meant, but every time i assume anything i get into trouble. i figure better safe than sorry. i can't wait to try this sauce and meatballs. spaghetti is my comfort food of choice, so when we're having it for dinner the dh knows it hasn't been the best of days.

          appreicate you taking the time to change the directions. have a great week!
      • Dena
        March 4, 2012
        I didn't know that Italians eat their meatballs seperate.. that's really interesting..would love to get to Italy someday! I'm glad you wrote..and no offense either at all to the recipe provider above..:) Dena Calgary Alberta Canada
        • Micheline
          August 14, 2011
          Thanks you so much for your comments Gustaio. What part of Italy are you from? According to my Italian friend, other parts of Italy cook their spaghetti sauce with meatballs. Here is the first example I found on the internet:

          I hope you will try my recipe and let me know if tastes authentically good. LOL
          • Gustaio
            August 7, 2011
            Pardon my outspoken simplicity, but in order for a recipe to be authentic it must be what is accepted and used as everyday in Italy. As you call it "Authentic Italian" it gives the reader the impression that this is the way Italians eat, and it is the way Italians make it. Never in my lifetime of 50+ years or anywhere in Italy can you order spaghetti with meatballs, we Italians never eat it together. We can order spaghetti and then as a second course meatballs, but never meatballs with spaghetti on top. That is as American as a dish can be. Plus some ingredients are not Italian at all. You may want to call it "Authentic family recipe" but not "Italian Authentic". By the way, your dish may be absolutely delicious, I mean no disrespect but only to share some culinary information.

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