How to Make Classic Spaghetti Meatballs with an Umami Twist

Spaghetti and meatballs is a classic Italian dish that is loved by people all over the world. The meatballs are typically made with ground beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, Parmesan cheese, and spices. They are then cooked in a tomato sauce and served over spaghetti.

This recipe for classic spaghetti meatballs with an umami twist uses fish sauce instead of salt. Fish sauce is a fermented condiment that is made from anchovies, salt, and water. It has a strong, salty flavor that is often used in Asian cuisine.

The addition of fish sauce to the meatballs gives them a deeper, more complex flavor. It also helps to enhance the flavor of the tomato sauce.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pound spaghetti


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, Parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic powder, and black pepper. Mix well.
  3. Stir in fish sauce.
  4. Form mixture into 1-inch meatballs.
  5. Place meatballs on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
  7. While meatballs are baking, heat a large pot over medium heat.
  8. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and water to the pot.
  9. Bring sauce to a simmer.
  10. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  11. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
  12. Drain spaghetti and add it to the pot with the sauce.
  13. Stir in meatballs.
  14. Serve immediately.

Utensils and Tools:

  • Large bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Baking sheet
  • Large pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Spaghetti strainer


  • For extra flavor, you can brown the meatballs in a skillet before baking them.
  • If you don't have fish sauce, you can substitute soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce.
  • You can also add other ingredients to the meatballs, such as chopped onion, garlic, or herbs.
  • Serve the spaghetti meatballs with grated Parmesan cheese and a side salad.

I hope this recipe helps you to make delicious and flavorful spaghetti meatballs with an umami twist!