Pasta with Garlicky Meatballs and Tomato Sauce

Pasta with Garlicky Meatballs and Tomato Sauce
Pasta with Garlicky Meatballs and Tomato Sauce Katie Workman / themom100
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
727 Calories
16g Fat
97g Carbs
45g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 727
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 85mg 28%
Sodium 434mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 97g 35%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Protein 45g
Calcium 265mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

You can reduce the amount of garlic in these meatballs, but then you might have to call them something else.  It’s not an overpowering amount, just enough to earn them their name.

To make fresh bread crumbs, just take some slightly stale bread, trim off the crusts (or leave them on for even more texture), and pulse them in a food processor fitted with the metal blade.  Also, when you first add the milk, this seems like a lot of liquid, and perhaps it even seems like a lot of bread crumbs, but the milk makes the bread crumbs expand, and the combination of the two really lightens up these meatballs, but doesn’t result in them feeling bready.

My younger son Charlie pronounced these, “One of my finest meatballs ever.”  Sure, he was pretty hungry, but I’ll take that compliment.


  • 1 pound ground beef (85 or 90% lean)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to serve
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pound pasta, cooked according to package directions, hot
  • 3 cups spaghetti sauce, homemade or bottled, warmed

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray the foil with nonstick spray.

  3. In a medium sized bowl combine the beef, garlic, oregano, parsley, bread crumbs, Parmesan, salt and pepper.  Use your (clean!) hands to combine the mixture.  Pour in the milk, and use your hands to blend.  Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, so that the bread crumbs completely absorb most of the moisture.

  4. Form the mixture into 1½ –inch meatballs and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake the meatballs for about 20 minutes, until they are just cooked thorough.

  5. Meanwhile, heat the sauce on a medium sized saucepan, large enough to add the meatballs once they are cooked. Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce, stir to coat them well, then pour the meatballs and sauce over the hot cooked pasta in a serving dish. Serve hot, with the extra Parmesan passed on the side.