Prep 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs
America's Test Kitchen recipe
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 3 onions, minced (about 3 cups)
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 3⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 cup water
- 4 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 -2 teaspoon sugar
- 4 slices high-quality white bread, torn into pieces
- 3⁄4 cup milk
- 1⁄2 lb sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1⁄2 cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1⁄2 lbs ground chuck (80% lean)
- 2 lbs cooked spaghetti
- For the Onion Mixture:.
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions & cook until golden, 10-15 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano and pepper flakes, and cook about 30 seconds. Transfer half of onion mixture to a bowl and set aside.
- For the Marinara:.
- Add the tomato paste to the remaining onion mixture in the Dutch oven and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in the water and tomatoes and simmer over low heat until the sauce is no longer watery, 45-60 minutes. Sir in the cheese and basil and season to taste with the salt and sugar.
- For the Meatballs:.
- Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the upper middle position and heat the oven to 475 degrees. Mash the bread and milk in the bowl with the reserved onion mixture until smooth. Add the sausage, Parmesan, parsley, eggs, garlic, and salt and mash to combine. Add the beef and knead with your hands until well combined. For the mixture into 2 1/2 inch meatballs (about 16 for the full recipe). Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until well browned, about 20 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to the pot with the sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Serve over cooked spaghetti & Enjoy!
I found this recipe in a copy of Cooks Illustrated magazine. Well worth the time and effort in making this dish! The meatballs are highly spiced, but balances well with the marinara sauce. I made fresh pasta noodles and served it with the Classic Garlic Bread from Cooks Illustrated and my own Caesar Salad. There was a lot of yumms going around the table! Thanks for posting this recipe as I would surly have done it!!! It is a keeper!!
We used half the amount of wine the recipe suggested... as we are not too fond of red wine. But the sauce came out great, as did the meatballs. Baking them at such a high temp is a good method. It's a very good meatballs & marinara recipe. We will definitely make this again! Thanks for sharing
I have been looking for this recipe for a long time. I had a copy but lost it. Now they're not free on their site. Thank you so much for sharing, I'm in need for some comfort food and this is the best out there!!!