Spaghetti and Meatballs with Heirloom Tomato Basil Sauce #spaghetti #meatballs #pasta #sauce #italian #homecook #feedingafamily
Dinner,  Recipes,  Summer

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Heirloom Tomato Basil Sauce

Comfort food at its finest. This Spaghetti and Meatballs with Heirloom Tomato Basil Sauce hits the spot when you need a little warmth from a classic dish. Made with simple, fresh, and local ingredients giving it what I call “healthy heartiness”.

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Heirloom Tomato Basil Sauce #spaghetti #meatballs #pasta #sauce #italian #homecook #feedingafamily

Guys, anyone who cooks for you is a keeper. Making the best meatballs I’ve ever had is an extra bonus. AKA Andrew is a keeper and he makes the best meatballs ever.

This Spaghetti and Meatballs with Heirloom Tomato Basil Sauce is one of the easiest recipes I’ve made and it’s probably one of the most delicious. Boiling pasta? Easy. “Raw” sauce? Easy. Having the oven do the meatball work for you? Easy. Eating this dish? EASY.

I really love the texture of the pasta used for this dish. For a while we were using Gluten Free Quinoa pasta, but it always left us with a weird and unappetizing texture after boiling. Even with an addition of olive oil to reduce sticking and cooking to the point of al dente. So, we moved on and back to the tried and true. What I love about De Cecco spaghetti is that it’s slightly sweet, and had a thickness and texture to it that I haven’t had before in other dry, store-bought pastas. This texture helps aid in the sauce sticking to the noodles.

The Heirloom Tomato and Basil sauce is so simple and easy to prepare. No cooking required. The heat from the pasta will warm up the sauce just enough so that you can enjoy it right away. You may look at the sauce ingredients: tomatoes, salt, pepper, lemon, garlic, basil, and olive oil, and think “how is this sauce?” Herein lies the secret: salt. By adding salt to the chopped Heirlooms, you are helping pull water from them, which in turn makes sauce. Set that baby aside for a bit, adding in the basil last as to not wilt it too much. Spaghetti and Meatballs with Heirloom Tomato Basil Sauce #spaghetti #meatballs #pasta #sauce #italian #homecook #feedingafamilyOnward. Let’s get into prepping these meatballs. Or don’t. The sauce is a stand alone star, but the meatballs definitely do not disappoint.

Ok, so these meatballs. Ah, the meatballs. THEY ARE SO GOOD. They are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and full of flavor. We love them around these parts. I attribute their amazingness to Andrew, of course, but also to the quality of the meat. We get all of our beef from Big Oak Farm. You can find them at the Davidson Farmers’ Market on Saturday’s or at their farm in Cabarrus County, NC.

Andrew has been preparing these meatballs early on in our relationship. Maybe that’s why I like him so much? Anyway, they take 10 minutes in the oven. That’s all the time you need for meatball perfection. Also, you can substitute almond flour or corn meal in place of the almond meal. Be careful not to overcook your meatballs – they become tough and chewy the longer they are left in the oven.

Side note: I don’t really like the word “meatball”. Does anyone else think it’s a weird word? I just used it a lot.

The three elements of this dish come together and make something so satisfying, it’ll soon become a staple weekly recipe. My Spaghetti and Meatballs with Heirloom Tomato Basil Sauce takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and is even better the next day.

Spaghetti and Meatballs with Tomato Basil Sauce

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Basil, dinner, heirloom, pasta, Sauce, Spaghetti, tomato
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author Brooke


  • 12 oz Package DeCecco Spaghetti

Heirloom Tomato Basil Sauce

  • 3 Ripe Heirloom Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1.5 tsp Salt/pepper
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/2 Lemon Juice, fresh
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Bunch Fresh Basil, torn or chopped


  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 2 Eggs, Beaten
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Meal
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1.5 tsp Salt/pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Hot Sauce, couple shakes


  1. Preheat oven to 450ºF

  2. Meanwhile, prepare the meatballs, start boiling pasta water and making Heirloom Tomato and Basil Sauce

Heirloom Tomato and Basil Sauce

  1. Place chopped tomatoes into a medium sized bowl and sprinkle with salt. Mix. 

  2. Add garlic, lemon juice, salt/pepper, and olive oil to bowl. Mix thoroughly and let rest, to release water, while meatballs and pasta are cooking. 

  3. Add fresh basil right before adding to pasta. 


  1. Bring water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Add pasta to boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 11 minutes. Drain and add back to pot. 


  1. Line baking sheet with foil. In a large bowl, combine beef, eggs, almond meal, garlic, Italian seasoning, dijon, hot sauce, and salt/pepper. Mix until combined. Scoop 2 tablespoons, roll into a ball using your hands. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. 

Finished Presentation

  1. Add Heirloom tomato sauce to pasta bowl. Mix to coat spaghetti evenly. Spoon out to individual portions and top with meatballs. Add grated parmesan if you please.  

  2. Enjoy! 

Recipe Notes

Corn meal or almond flour may be used if you do not have Almond Meal



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