Sunday Dinner: Back to basics with meatballs and pasta

Sometimes during a hectic season, all you want to do is slow down and get back to basics. This basic Italian-style meatball recipe pairs perfectly with your favorite pasta to make Sunday dinner simple… and basic.

Spaghetti and Meatball dinner

Sunday dinner with family or friends can be a great time to relax, laugh and spend some time together. After a busy week and busy festivities ahead, keeping things simple is sometimes underrated, but these delicious Italian-style meatballs taste extraordinary!

Basic meatballs

This SheKnows recipe for basic meatballs is wonderful served with your favorite pasta, but if you’d prefer, make a meatball sub with these goodies!

Yields 3 dozen


  • 4 slices white bread
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons onion, finely minced (about 1/2 small onion)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs (preferably unseasoned)
  • Oil for greasing pan


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, soak the bread in milk.
  2. In a large bowl, add beef, onion, egg, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Combine with clean hands. With your hands, mash the milk-soaked bread in its bowl until bread breaks down and is soupy. Add milk and bread to meat; combine everything together with your hands. Add the bread crumbs, and combine well. You’re now ready to form the meatballs.
  3. Make golf ball-sized meatballs by rolling them in the palms of your hands.
  4. Arrange meatballs on a lightly greased, rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until tops are browned and slightly crispy and centers are no longer pink.

Sunday family time activity

When dinner is over, gather your family to make simple holiday decorations.

Whether you need to decorate your tree, mantel or staircase this holiday season, get together with your family to make the garland on your own. It’s simple and makes a great group activity this time of year.

Forget about pine needles covering your floors, forking over lots of cash for decorations or bland garland chains from the past. Add some sparkle and shine to this year’s chains! All you need is double-sided, shimmering scrapbook paper to make colorful homemade garland chains.

From Good Housekeeping, this idea for paper chain garland is timeless, but you can give it an updated, contemporary spin. A 12 x 12-inch page of decorative scrapbook paper will yield two dozen 6 x 1-inch strips of paper you can use to create your garland.

Cut the strips, and then staple the bands to create interlocking circles. Alternate the patterns or colors as you work for creative results that will be off the chain!

Try these recipes for a Sunday dinner

Crockpot chicken and dumplings
Mexican chorizo, lentil and tomato soup
Baked shells with winter squash
Creamy chicken and wild rice casserole


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