Espagueti con albondigas translates to spaghetti with meatballs! I have to be honest that traditional spaghetti with meatballs was not a dish I grew up with. I did grow up enjoying mom albondiga soup and it’s still one of my favorites today. You know that I had to add my own Mexican twist, right?
Homemade meatballs are worth the effort!
I think my whole married life, I may have only purchased frozen pre-made meatballs once. That says it all, lol! The great thing is that you can add what you like and make it your own recipe. That is the beauty of cooking at home.
Raw onion or sauteed onion?
Definitely sauteed for me! Just those few minutes of saute time on the onions and jalapeño realyl add so much flavor. And same goes with cooking or frying salsa or sauces. Adds a whole other level of flavor!
Canned tomato products, chicken bouillon(or chicken base) and dried chiles are just a few of the pantry items that I have all of the time. Many times when I prepare red chile sauce, I prepare extra to store in my freezer. It comes in handy for recipes like this or more traditional dishes like chicken enchiladas.
This particular chile sauce is prepared with dried guajillo peppers ans is one of the more mild of all the dried chile varieties. See link for red chile sauce in the notes of the recipe below.
Good for a meal or an appetizer
This recipe is great for 4 hearty servings. You could make the meatballs half the size and just serve as an appetizer in the sauce. Sprinkle to plenty of cotija cheese and serve with slider rolls.
Any leftover rolls will work!
I often find myself with a few leftover homemade bolillos(rolls) and they are perfect for preparing quick garlic bread slices. Simply drizzle with olive oil. Rub a cut clove of garlic all over the surface of bread. Toaste on preheated skillet for a few minutes per side.
Spaghetti with Meatballs-Espagueti con Albondigas
- 28 ounce can whole tomatoes
- 2 cups chile sauce- see link below in notes
- 3 large cloves of garlic chopped
- 3/4 tsp Mexican Oregano
- 2 1/2 tsps chicken bouillon powder
- Oil Olive oil, grapeseed oil
- 2/3 cup onion diced
- 1 jalapeno minced
- 1 pound ground chuck
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp parsley or cilantro
- 1/3 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup milk
- Dash of hot sauce your choice
- 12-14 ounces spaghetti previously cooked according to package
- 1/2 cup Cotija Cheese finely crumbled
- small green bell pepper diced
- In the blender add the can of whole tomatoes, chile sauce, 1 tsp oregano, 3 cloves of garlic, 2 1/2 tsps bouillon and 2 cups of water. Blend until smooth, Taste for salt and set aside.
- In a small saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil to medium heat. Add the 1/3 cup of onion and jalapeño. Reserve the remaining onion. Saute for 5 minutes, Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- In a bowl, add the cooled sauteed onions and jalapeño. Also mix in the ground chuck, granulated garlic, cumin, pepper, salt, parsley, red pepper flakes, egg, panko, milk and hot sauce. Mix well and shape 12 meatballs. Transfer onto baking sheet(or pan) and chill for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, add 2-3 tablespoons of oil to large pot and preheat for a few minutes. Remove meatballs from refrigerator. Brown the meatballs in the hot oil for 7-10 minutes, turning as needed. Add the reserved onion and green bell pepper. Saute for another 2 minutes.
- Pour in the blended sauce from the blender to the meatballs. Reduce heat slightly and cook at a steady simmer for 20 minutes. Fold in the cooked spaghetti and cook for just another 5 minutes. Serve right away. Garnish with cotija cheese and chopped cilantro