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Spaghetti with Ricotta Beef Meatballs and Marinara Sauce

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12 inch large pot

12 inch large high-sided pan

Aluminum foil

Baking sheet


  • 1/4 bunch parsley, divided
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 10 Ounces ground beef
  • 1 Teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 6 Ounces spaghetti
  • 14 Ounces jar marinara sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons pecorino cheese, grated


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Rinse parsley and roughly chop leaves, discarding stems. Peel shallot and mince. Mince garlic. Pat beef dry with paper towel.

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large high-sided pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant and shallot is softened, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add ricotta, breadcrumbs, 1 egg, beef, ½ of parsley, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper. Using your hands, mix well. Divide mixture evenly and form into 8-10 meatballs, about 1½-inches in diameter. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet, spacing evenly.

Transfer meatballs to oven and bake until browned on outside and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

While meatballs bake, add spaghetti and a generous pinch salt to pot of boiling water. Cook until al dente, 7-9 minutes. Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta and set aside.

Wipe pan from shallot clean. Add marinara sauce over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add spaghetti and cook, stirring, until fully combined, about 1 minute. Add reserved pasta cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time until sauce is thick and clings to noodles. Remove pan from heat. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Add baked meatballs and toss to combine.

Garnish spaghetti and meatballs with pecorino and remaining parsley. Dig in!