Most food historians agree that the union of spaghetti with meatballs is an American culinary invention with Italian roots. In the vast majority of cases, Old World-Italian cuisine calls for mixing heavy meat sauces with fettuccine and tagliatelle but not spaghetti.
Fill your largest pot with 1½ gallons of water along with 3 tablespoons of salt. Place it over high heat on the stove.
Combine ground meat, bread crumbs, grated cheese, minced parsley and lightly beaten eggs (add eggs one at a time while stirring ingredients together). Sprinkle with minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and seasonings. Then mix well until everything is combined.
Form meat mixture into meatballs, using an ice cream scoop or your hands, pressing lightly, just enough so that meat holds together, but not so much that the meat is very compressed or the meatballs will be tough and dry.
In a heavy skillet, heat olive oil over medium low heat. Add whole garlic cloves. Turn the garlic cloves to color them on all sides, then when lightly browned, press them into the oil; as they brown, remove them.
As soon as the oil is hot, add the meatballs to the skillet, leaving about 1½ inches between them so that they can be easily turned. Turn them often using a spatula or large spoon so that they don't stick. Make sure there is enough oil in the pan (about ½ inch). You don't need extra virgin olive oil for this—any good quality Italian olive oil will do.
When the meatballs are browned well on all sides, remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Then add the next batch to the pan and continue until all are cooked.
Add the pasta to the water now boiling in your pot and cook until al dente. This should take about 12 minutes.
Add pepper flakes, garlic and finely chopped onion in the same oil you used to cook the meatballs. Sauté 5–7 minutes, until onion bits are soft. Add beef stock, crushed tomatoes, and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.
Toss hot, drained pasta with a few ladles of the sauce. Turn meatballs in remaining sauce.
Place pasta on dinner plates. Top with meatballs, sauce and extra grated cheese.