You've never tried spaghetti and meatballs like this before. Everyone's favorite barbecue master, Ray Lampe – also known as Dr. BBQ – has put his spin on the classic dinner dish in a Southern way you've gotta try. Instead of regular marinara sauce and meatballs, Dr. BBQ incorporated barbecue rub into both components of the dish, and barbecue sauce into his tomato base. The end result is a tangy, smoky sauce with thick, juicy meatballs (and, a healthy topping of Cheddar cheese) over hearty noodles. Although you wouldn't traditionally turn to your grill for meatballs, Dr. BBQ recommends it; however, your oven will work in a pinch. Try out this dinner recipe on a weekday for rave reviews all around the table – we're sure of it.
1 pound ground chuck
1 large egg
1 teaspoon barbecue rub
1/4 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon barbecue rub
1 pound cooked spaghetti noodles
How to Make It
Prepare the grill or the oven to cook indirect at 325°F. In a large bowl, break up the ground beef. Top with the egg, rub, cheese, and parsley. Mix well. Add the bread crumbs and mix well. Divide and form into 8 meatballs, all the same size. If you’re cooking on the grill, place the meatballs on a perforated grid; for the oven, place them on a baking sheet. Cook the meatballs for 20 minutes or until they are golden brown. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, jalapeño, and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, and barbecue rub. Mix well and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the meatballs to the sauce. Stir to coat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti as directed on the package. Drain the pasta and serve topped with the sauce and meatballs. Garnish with additional finely grated cheddar cheese and chopped parsley, if desired.