These “meatballs” are the perfect weeknight dinner. Armed with a big batch of Simple Tomato Sauce in your refrigerator or freezer, this pasta dinner requires minimal prep thanks to sausage. Rather than make meatballs from scratch, roll your favorite sausage into balls for a quick meal. Now, it may not be the most authentic version of the traditional, Italian grandma-favorite, but this dinner remains a crowd pleaser and is always kid-friendly.
I prefer to use a sweet Italian pork variety, but this dish is also delicious with learner turkey sausage. Get your greens in by serving the pasta alongside an escarole salad.
Spaghetti and Sausage Meatballs
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound sausage, casings removed and rolled into 16 balls
3 1/2 cups Simple Tomato Sauce, or your favorite tomato sauce
3/4 pound dried spaghetti
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
Heat a large pot of heavily salted water over high heat until boiling.
Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in a 4-quart Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot with over medium heat until it shimmers. Cook the meatballs in the skillet in 2 batches until they are golden on all sides, turning them gently with a spoon, about 6 to 8 minutes per batch. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the pot before adding the second batch.
Once all meatballs are cooked pour off the remaining oil from the pot. Return all meatballs to the skillet and add Simple Tomato Sauce. Bring sauce to a simmer over medium-low for 10 minutes. The meatballs will finish cooking in the sauce.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions (I like to cook it until al dente). Drain well.
Add spaghetti to the pot with meatballs. Using tongs, toss until spaghetti is well coated with the sauce.
Serve spaghetti and meatballs topped with grated cheese and parsley.