To make the meatballs, combine the minced beef, breadcrumbs, chopped onion, lemon rind, Parmesan cheese, egg and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Use your hands to mix until well combined. With wet hands, shape the mixture into small balls. Place on a tray, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add half the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until the meatballs are browned on all sides. Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining meatballs. Wipe the frying pan clean with paper towels.
To make the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and their juice, the sugar and the water and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the meatballs, spooning the tomato mixture over the meatballs so they are covered. Cover the frying pan with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Stir in the oregano, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 10–12 minutes, or until al dente. Drain. To serve, scoop the spaghetti onto a large platter or into individual bowls and spoon over the meatballs and sauce.
It was pretty good. I think I will still keep trying out recipes though until I find the perfect spaghetti and meatball combination!
I would recommend using less onion in the actual meatballs. I used a fairly small onion but still found it to be too much onion. The lemon zest really adds a nice touch in the meatballs too! - 07 Nov 2009
My Family of 3 picky boys loved this recipie! It was nice to be able to make this myself without having to rely on sauce bases from the supermarket. I used a little less onion as it can upset some tummys and used fresh parmasen for a tasty twist. A new Family favourite. Thanks! - 16 Mar 2013