Spaghetti with Make-Ahead Meatballs

Spaghetti with Make-Ahead Meatballs
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 6Servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small leek, white and pale-green parts, halved and thinly cut crosswise into half-moons
  • 3/4 cup chopped tomato (fresh or canned)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped or coarsely shredded carrot
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground chuck (85 percent lean)
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 pounds spaghetti, cooked
  • 6 cups of your favorite homemade sauce, warmed


In a medium skillet, heat 2 tbsp. oil over medium. Add the onion and leek and a large pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables start to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato, carrot and garlic and a few more pinches of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft and most of the tomato juices evaporate, 8 to 10 minutes. Let the vegetables cool.

In a large bowl, combine the chuck, veal, Parmesan and breadcrumbs; season with salt and pepper. Using two forks, mix until just combined. Add the vegetables and egg. Using your hands, gently mix just to blend. Shape into about thirty 1 1/2-inch meatballs.

Add a thin layer of oil to a large nonstick skillet; heat over medium. Working in two batches and adding more oil in between, cook the meatballs, turning often, until browned all over, about 4 minutes. Cover; reduce the heat to low. Cook until the meatballs are cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Toss with the spaghetti and sauce.