Spaghetti & Meat-and-Turkey-Balls

If you grew up in the Blanco household and it was a Monday night, you would know what you were having for dinner: spaghetti & meatballs, of course! Now, I don’t actually remember the last time all six of us actually sat down on a Monday night and ate spaghetti & meatballs, but I know we all remember that’s what we’re supposed to eat.

Well, mom’s recipe for meatballs is exactly what a meatball sounds like; ground beef shaped into balls. I wanted to make mine a bit more sophisticated, so I took the advice of my Food Network friends (okay, maybe they don’t know who I am, but I feel like I know them so well!) and used two kinds of meat and some seasonings before cooking them slowly and for a looong time in garlic-y and wine-y tomato sauce.

Actually, rewind a little bit to my supermarket trip. It was a cold winter day in New York City, and I had a pound of ground beef defrosting in my refrigerator. I went to two local supermarkets, and they didn’t carry and kosher beef. They only had whole chicken pieces, no ground chicken. So kosher ground turkey had to do. Bobby Flay puts beef, veal, and pork in his meatballs, why can’t I put beef and turkey in mine? I can! And I did! And they were delicious!

For the meatballs:


  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup of seasoned breafcrumbs
  • 1 egg


  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Shape into balls (however big or small you want them)

For the sauce:


  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 5 cloves of garlic, separated
  • 3 cans of tomato sauce
  • olive oil, salt, and pepper, to taste


  1. In a large pot, reduce the wine over a high heat with the peppercorns and one whole, unpeeled garlic clove.
  2. Meanwhile, mince the rest of the garlic and saute it with olive oil.
  3. Add the tomato sauce to the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Simmer.
  4. When the wine turns into a thick syrup, lower the heat to medium, remove the garlic clove and peppercorn, and slowly add the tomato sauce.
  5. Add the meatballs to the sauce and let boil, mixing occasionally. Then lower the heat all the way and simmer the sauce and meatballs for two hours, still occasionally mixing.
  6. Now boil a pound of spaghetti. Drain it and mix it into the sauce until all of the pasta is coated.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

What’s your meatball secret? Let us know in the comments!