Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Spaghetti and meatball eyeballs

About a year ago, I saw squid ink pasta for sale at Trader Joe’s, and I thought to myself, “This would be perfect for Halloween!” I didn’t know what I was going to do with the pasta, but I knew I needed to find a use for it. 

Finally, it’s making its debut as the perfect accompaniment to meatball eyeballs.

This super simple and spooky dinner would be perfect to serve on Halloween night. Of course, if you prefer to use your favorite meatball or spaghetti recipe, that’s perfectly fine! 

Spaghetti and meatball eyeballs

Yield: Makes about 12 meatballs


For the sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces onion, small dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 56 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the meatballs

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 12 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 12 olive slices
  • 12 candy eyes

Other Ingredients

  • 1 pound squid ink pasta (or spaghetti), cooked


For the sauce

  1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat and add onion. 
  2. Cook, stirring often, until onion begins to brown slightly, or about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute.
  4. Add tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, oregano, and black pepper.
  5. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer, stirring often, until sauce reduces slightly, about 30 minutes.
  6. Make meatballs while sauce simmers.

For the meatballs

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheet that has raised edges with aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. Combine egg, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in medium-sized bowl.
  3. Add ground beef to bowl and use hands to mix ingredients.
  4. Add breadcrumbs to beef mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Use hands to form 1 1/2-inch meatballs and place onto baking sheet.
  6. Bake until cooked through, about 18-22 minutes. 
  7. Remove baking sheet from oven and place cheese slice on top of each meatball.
  8. Return to oven for 2 to 3 minutes, or until cheese slice is melted.
  9. Remove from oven and place olive slice on top of each cheese slice.
  10. Place candy eye in center of each olive slice.


  1. Plate desired amount of pasta with about 1/2 cup sauce and 2 meatballs.

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