Prep 1 hr
Cook 3 hrs
This is one of my favorite recipes to make for friends when we have them over for dinner. Italian is casual, simple to make and inexpensive. Start this early in the day, let it simmer for a few hours and right before the guests arrive, boil your pasta, toast the garlic bread and toss up a Caesar salad...nothing else could be so simple. This recipe makes a full 6 quarts so it will feed an army. It freezes very well so I package the leftovers in containers for simple and delicious weekday meals.
- 1 1⁄2 lbs sweet Italian sausage
- 1 1⁄2 lbs hot Italian sausage
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 (29 ounce) cans Contadina tomato sauce
- 2 (29 ounce) cansof contadina tomato puree
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 (18 ounce) can Contadina tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon beef base
- 3 lbs ground beef
- 1 1⁄2 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
- 3⁄4 cup milk
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 large eggs
- Cut the sausage links in half and place them into a 6 quart stock pot.
- Add the olive oil and garlic, stir to coat; brown on medium heat stirring often to keep them from burning.
- Add the tomato sauce, puree, basil, oregano and salt to the browned sausage and reduce heat to low; cover and slow simmer.
- Mix ground beef, breadcrumbs, milk, Worcestershire and eggs together in a bowl.
- Shape meatballs into size of your choice and place into a shallow glass baking pan.
- Preheat oven to 400°F and bake meatballs from 20-40 minutes depending upon size.
- Add meatballs to the sauce and let simmer for 3 hours;stir occasionally and skim the fat off the top so the sauce is not greasy when it is done.
- Add the tomato paste 1 hour before the sauce is done to thicken it up.
- 1/2 hour after adding the tomato paste test the sauce; if it is too sweet from the paste add the beef base to counteract the sweetness--if not, leave this out and enjoy!