1. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder and beaten egg. Mix well and form into 12 balls. Store, covered, in refrigerator until needed. Or you can prepared the meatballs and cooked them in the oven on a sheet pan for 20 minutes at 350*F. Then added them to the sauce, or store, covered, in refrigerator until needed.
2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent. Stir lean the ground beef, in tomatoes, salt, sugar and bay leaf. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 90 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, basil, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and meatballs and simmer 30 minutes more. Serve.
My Note: Sometime I also spiced up the meatballs with some stand-by italian spices (basic, oregano, etc.) and I upped the garlic (to taste). Also, I used crackers (pounded or processed to crumbs) in place of bread crumbs, and used a little less than called for. This made a very solid and yummy meatball I was leary of making this without first pre-cooking the meatballs, but this is by far the best spaghetti and meatballs I have ever made. The meatballs ended up a nice brown color, they were not over cooked and I think putting them in before browning allowed some of the meat flavor to seep into the sauce. opted to use a combination of ground pork and ground beef (12 oz ground beef, 4 oz ground pork) -instead of plain bread crumbs, I used pre-seasoned breadcrumbs, I increased the parmesan cheese to 4 oz. With the sauce, instead of using 2 (28 oz) cans of whole tomatoes, I used 1 (28 oz can) of whole tomatoes, and then two smaller cans (14 oz) of crushed tomatoes. After simmering the sauce, I ran half of it through the blender to make it smoother. I also added a small can of tomato sauce in addition to the tomato paste, plus for added flavour I added 1 tsp italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp basil, and 1 tsp garlic powder. If you think or found the meatballs too dry, may I suggest adding 1/2 cup of water, or milk, or tomato sauce to the meatballs? The eggs will bind them, but not make them moister - adding liquid makes them exquisitely tender and juicy. Also, if you want a lighter meatball, substitute oatmeal for the breadcrumbs - measure it first, then run it briefly in the blender so you won't have any big bits in the meatballs. I added 1.5 tsp oregano and 3 tsp basil; added 1 tsp seasoned salt, 1 medium green pepper. I was very, very happy with the sauce. Put it into a 250* oven while I cooked other stuff, for about 2 hours,it was wonderful.
We do work long hours and don't have time at night to make a 2 hour meal, so what I did was use my slow cooker. In the morning I sauteed my onion and garlic, combined it with all the ingredience including half a can of tomato sauce for extra liquid since it tends to lose some in a slow cooker. Had my Son turn the cooker on low at his lunch, so the sauce cooked about 6 1/2 hours. one hour before the sauce was done, he put the meat balls inches We did end up adding the extra half a can of sauce just for liquid, but the flavor was amazing. By using the slow cooker for us working cooks, it was nice to come home to a ready made meal and good as this. Old YES! If you substituted turkey or other poultry for ground beef -- you are never supposed to use breadcrumbs, that type of meat is quite dry, breadcrumbs only makes it worse!