Spaghetti and Meatballs

From the ages of 9 to 19, I lived in New Mexico. I lived in a small desert town in the Southeastern corner called Hobbs. We used to say, “It’s not what’s in Hobbs, it’s WHO’s in Hobbs.” Boy was that the freaking truth. Because WHAT was in Hobbs was tumbleweeds, oil and HEAT.

And get this, I loved the heat. I like, L-O-V-E-D the heat. I’d ride my bike and tra-la-la myself around town in the 110-degree days.

How did I do that? Who was I? Who can even handle that kind of torture?

Now that I’ve lived in Kansas City for over 7 years and have grown, ahem, older, I’m finding that I prefer the slightly cooler temps.

I love going for a run and not feeling like hell crafted me a personal cocoon and held me hostage in it.

I love having the doors and windows open during the day and not having to stand on guard with windex and a tennis shoe in fear that 17 wasps and bees will fly in and attack my fragile self.

And I love standing over a pot of simmering sauce and not melting into a pile of human goo in my kitchen, leaving my husband the task of mopping me up.

Besides, we don’t have a mop nearly big enough.

To celebrate the arrival of a 60-degree day, I will now proceed to shove my entire head into a bowl of the below.

I highly recommend you do the same, and as fast as you possibly can.

Spaghetti and Meatballs:



What it took for 4:

* 1 pound spaghetti
* 1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes, whizzed through a food processor until smooth
* 1 pound ground turkey
* 1 egg
* 1 tsp crushed red pepper
* 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
* 1 tsp ground cinnamon
* 3 Tbs. finely chopped herbs (basil, oregano, thyme)
* 6 cloves garlic, minced and divided
* 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or panko
* 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
* freshly grated parmesan, for garnish

In a large bowl, combine the turkey, crushed red pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, herbs, panko, a good pinch of salt and pepper, half the minced garlic, and the egg. Mix it all up good with your hands.

Form little balls with your hands and set them aside on a tray. Size doesn’t matter. (sorry) Totally up to you!

Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan. Add the remaining garlic and bloom 30 seconds. Add the tomato sauce, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 20 minutes.

In a medium skillet, heat the other 2 Tbs. oil over medium-high. Add the meatballs and sear until brown all over, about 8 minutes total. Transfer meatballs to sauce and continue simmering another 20 minutes.

Cook the pasta until it reaches al dente.

Serve spaghetti with a good helping of meatballs and sauce. Garnish with parmesan and more basil, if desired!

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29 Responses to Spaghetti and Meatballs

  1. carly {carlyklock} September 14, 2011 at 3:58 pm #
    Please tell me again why I walked away from this last night??? CUZ I can't seem to make sense of it in the daylight.
  2. Julia September 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm #
    I could just stick my whole face in that right now. Your photos are so beautiful too!
  3. Blake September 14, 2011 at 4:42 pm #
    Sharing the 60 degree days with you here in Overland Park. Great recipe and beautiful photos.
  4. Deborah September 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm #
    I knew there was a reason I really liked you - I'm a New Mexico girl, too!! Although I come from the total opposite - the northwest corner!! These meatballs look AMAZING!
  5. angie September 14, 2011 at 6:38 pm #
    You used Windex huh? We used the cheap AquaNet hairspray!! I must say, I can manage that dry heat MUCH better than this smothering sauna here in Southern Md! Just reading the word Hobbs I can smell a waft of oil..can't you? Lovely pics!!
    • Bev Weidner September 14, 2011 at 9:22 pm #
      Oh Angie, I really can smell Hobbs! Dry, hot, oily. But that town will always have a place in my heart. That might be the most serious thing I've ever said. Ever.
      • angie September 15, 2011 at 11:30 am #
        My goodness Beverly, me too! Our families still live there so we manage to get back about once a year...and I totally love that time! I really miss the wide open spaces and a town where everybody knows your name! Now, just because I'm feeling nostalgic, I'm going to give you one word to reminisce......Eckerd! :)
  6. Tracey September 14, 2011 at 7:25 pm #
    Looks delicious as usual Bev! Fantastics pictures too. Wish we had 60 degree weather here in Georgie today.... but noooo it's 94 degrees as I speak! Ugh! :)
  7. Bernadette September 14, 2011 at 7:30 pm #
    My gosh that looks good! I'd give anything for a bowl of that right now! Can ya tell I'm hungry?! LOL!
  8. Cassie (Bake Your Day) September 14, 2011 at 8:03 pm #
    These sound extra delicious, love the ground turkey!
  9. MyPeaceOfFood September 14, 2011 at 8:15 pm #
    Wow, you take really amazing photos...what kind of camera do you use? I pick the worst time to read all my fave food blogs...right now I want eggplant sticks, egg salad and spaghetti and meatballs! Seriously, I think I could eat it all!
    • Bev Weidner September 14, 2011 at 9:17 pm #
      Why thank you so much! I shoot with a Nikon d3000 and a Nikor 35 mm lens. It's my lover. Oh, that's weird. Thanks so much for the comment!
  10. nicole b. September 14, 2011 at 9:20 pm #
    One of my favorite recipes. I love using ground turkey, too. I will have to try adding a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg! Gorgeous photos, as always. xo.
  11. Katie September 14, 2011 at 10:09 pm #
    Meeker will bow down and kiss my feet it I make him this. I'm going to save it for when I'm in the dog house.
  12. Winnie September 14, 2011 at 10:32 pm #
    I am your newest fan thanks to finding you through your guest post for Aggie. Your photos are beautiful and your recipes look glad to have found your blog :)
    • Bev Weidner September 15, 2011 at 12:28 pm #
      Aaaw Winnie, thank you so much! So glad you found me! It's great to meet ya!
  13. Ali @ Gimme Some Oven September 15, 2011 at 3:28 am #
    Cheers to 60 degrees -- and supposedly 42 tonight! This looks like the perfect recipe for cozying into autumn. Love the first spaghetti photo in the sunlight!
  14. Jerry Hingle September 15, 2011 at 3:08 pm #
    I love the presentation of the ingredients and the photography. Very nice post, and it sounds easy enough to make!
  15. Ashley September 27, 2011 at 11:07 pm #
    I made this dish tonight and it was the first time my younger brother actually said he "loved" my cooking. That is impressive since he avoids compliments like the plague. Thank you for this wonderful recipe, and pretty much making my day!
    • Bev Weidner September 27, 2011 at 11:25 pm #
      Awww, great! Thanks so much for letting me know how it turned out!
  16. Ash May 12, 2012 at 2:28 pm #
    This is great! But I was wondering if I had to use turkey? Can I try it with beef, or will it mess up the recipe?
    • Bev Weidner May 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm #
      Hi, Ash! Oh, you can use anything you want! Beef, chicken, turkey, pork, rabbit, whatever! I've never cooked with rabbit, just fyi. I'm scared. Let me know how it turns out!
  17. a yasmeen November 12, 2012 at 8:29 pm #
    Hi! I just wanted you to know that I tried your recipe today and as I slurp noodles I am typing your praises! Thank you SO much for this recipe! I edited by adding the parmesean cheese to the meatballs and I left the tomatoes chunky. There's something special about the cinnamon. I've added it to shrimp, but never ground turkey. I have the recipe committed to memory!
  18. Cirilo December 10, 2019 at 6:49 am #
    I didn't have any expectations concerning that title, but the longer I was astonished. The writer did a fantastic job.


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