Taylor Swift Calls This Ina Garten Pasta Her 'Go-To Dinner Party Dish' and I Can See Why

Taylor Swift's favorite spaghetti and meatballs from Ina Garten

If there's one thing I know about Taylor Swift, it's that she's more than just a global pop star with a huge discography and dozens of sold-out stadium shows like the Eras Tour. She's also a great friend, loving daughter, one-half of the Traylor romance, a proud cat mom and—last but not least—a passionate home cook.

Though she's gained recognition for her own viral creations, like her chai sugar cookies and the homemade Pop-Tarts she's made for the Kansas City Chiefs, she's always been happy to shout out her favorite dishes from the culinary greats. In her 2019 profile with Elle Magazine, Swift mentioned the one dish she always makes when she hosts dinner parties: Ina Garten's spaghetti and meatballs.

I love Taylor and I turn up her music all the time when I'm the kitchen. I also consider Ina Garten my "Cooking Fairy" and I love her elegantly uncomplicated and oh-so-fabulous dinner recipes. Considering all of that of course I got hungry to try this Taylor-approved Ina recipe out for myself.

I ran out to the store to top up on a few things (but almost everything I needed was in my pantry already!), cranked on my T. Swift playlist, channeled my inner Barefoot Contessa and got cooking.

Get the recipe: Ina Garten's Real Meatballs and Spaghetti 

Ingredients for Ina Garten's Real Meatballs and Spaghetti<p>Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel</p>
Ingredients for Ina Garten's Real Meatballs and Spaghetti

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

Ingredients for Ina Garten's Real Meatballs and Spaghetti

For this recipe, you'll need ground veal, ground pork, ground beef, fresh white bread crumbs, seasoned dry bread crumbs, fresh parsley, Parmesan cheese, kosher salt, ground pepper, nutmeg, vegetable oil, olive oil, an egg, garlic, a yellow onion, a can of crushed tomatoes, red wine and spaghetti.

Related: The Surprising Trick for Making Better Tasting, Never-Ever-Mushy Pasta

How to Make Ina Garten's Real Meatballs and Spaghetti

Mix the ground meat, both of the bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg and 3/4 cup of warm water in a bowl. Combine the meat mixture carefully, then, using your hands, gently form the mixture into 14 to 16 2-inch meatballs.

Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a skillet about 1/4 inch deep and heat over medium. Working in batches without overcrowding the pan, brown the meatballs on all sides. Discard the oil, but don't clean out the pan. Add in more olive oil and bring to a heat, then add in the chopped onion and sauté for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.

Pour in the wine and cook on high until most of the liquid evaporates. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer on low until the meatballs are cooked through, which should take about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Serve the meatballs and sauce over the pasta and top with grated Parmesan.

Related: Ina Garten's Weeknight Bolognese

Meatballs simmering in sauce<p>Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel</p>
Meatballs simmering in sauce

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

What I Thought of Ina Garten's Real Meatballs and Spaghetti

Thanks to Taylor and Ina, I've found my new favorite Sunday dinner. The recipe was super easy to follow and it didn't create a lot of dirty dishes or require any specialty ingredients. The meatballs proved to be a savory—thanks to the combination of homemade breadcrumbs and parsley and Parmesan—and the three different meats created a delicate, juicy meatball that holds its own in the sauce.

The sautéed onions and garlic melt into the sauce, creating a bold allium bite. The final splash of red wine added a deep flavor that rounded out the whole dish. While I did wish there was a bit more sauce for the amount of meatballs, every forkful was still heaven!

Related: 101 Classic, Simple and Easy Pasta Recipes That Are Worthy of Dinner Tonight

Finished bowl of Ina Garten's Real Meatballs and Spaghetti<p>Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel</p>
Finished bowl of Ina Garten's Real Meatballs and Spaghetti

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

Tips for Making Ina Garten's Real Meatballs and Spaghetti

  1. Sub out other ground meats. When she makes this recipe, Taylor mentioned that she sometimes uses all ground beef. If you feel like experimenting, you can try other combinations out too, like ground turkey or chicken or a beef and pork combo if you aren't keen on veal.

  2. Season as you go. Tasting and adjusting seasonings as you go ensures that every part of the dish is infused with flavor and everything will taste balanced.

Up next: The Secret Ingredient For Making Meatballs That Taste Like They Came from an Italian Restaurant