Spaghetti and Meatballs, made with jarred pasta sauce, spaghetti, frozen meatballs, and Parmesan cheese, is a staple recipe that should be in everyone's repertoire. In fact, it's one of the easiest recipes on the planet! And it only uses five ingredients.
I have thought about many ways to fancy-up this easy recipe. I have tried cream cheese, sour cream, and heavy cream, but had a breakthrough last week. Why not add pesto? One of my favorite recipes, Baked Tortellini with Three Sauces, combines pasta sauce, pesto, and Alfredo sauce and is just spectacular. So I added pesto to the sauce and meatballs. What a hit!
There's something about the spicy flavor of the pesto, along with the added fat and cheese, that really adds a wonderful depth of flavor to any jarred pasta sauce. You can use refrigerated pesto, pesto from a jar, or make your own pesto; it doesn't matter. The result is much more than the sum of the ingredients.
This recipe only takes about 5 minutes to put together, and another 10 minutes or so to cook. You just want to heat the pasta sauce long enough so the meatballs thaw and heat through. In fact, the ingredient that takes the longest to cook is the pasta, since you have to wait for the water to come to a boil.
I like to serve this entree with a crisp green salad tossed with sliced mushrooms and grape or cherry tomatoes and an Italian salad dressing, and toasted garlic bread. Add a glass of red wine and you have a meal fit for a king that is ready in under 30 minutes.
- 1 (26 ounce) jar pasta sauce, marinara sauce, or spaghetti sauce
- 1 (16 ounce) package frozen meatballs, preferably made with wild rice
- 1 (16 ounce) package spaghetti pasta
- 1 (10 ounce) container refrigerated pesto
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
While the water is heating, put a large skillet on the stovetop. Add the pasta sauce and frozen meatballs; stir to coat the meatballs with the sauce. Turn the heat to medium high.
Cook the meatballs in the sauce, stirring frequently, until they are hot (160*F) and tender.
Then add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook until al dente.
When the pasta is in the water, stir the pesto into the meatball mixture and bring to a simmer.
When the pasta is cooked to al dente (about 8 to 10 minutes), drain it well. Put the pasta onto individual plates and top with the meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.