Prep 25 mins
Cook 2 hrs
My husband calls this "meatballs and gravy," even though it's a tomato sauce. I got this from my husband's aunt, who is from Italy. I make this all the time, and it's a big hit. Cooking the meatballs for the 2 1/2 hours in the sauce results in a very tender meatball. As is typical of most old world recipes, all spices are "to taste." With 3 pounds of ground meat, I usually end up with 35-38 meatballs. Enjoy!
- 3 lbs ground beef or 3 lbs ground veal
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- garlic powder
- black pepper
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 2 (28 ounce) cans tomato puree
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- black pepper
- red pepper flakes
- 2 fresh garlic cloves
- olive oil
- 2 1⁄2 cups water
- Make meatballs first.
- Combine all meatball ingredients, adding enough Italian bread crumbs to allow the ground meat to stick together when formed into a ball.
- Form meatballs into size slightly smaller than Dunkin Donuts munchkins, or a little smaller than a golf ball.
- Set aside meatballs.
- Cover bottom of a large pot with a light coating of olive oil.
- Dice fresh garlic and add to pot, frying until golden (about 30 seconds), but do not burn.
- Add paste, puree, crushed tomatoes and water.
- Add spices to taste. Go easy on the red pepper flakes, as you can always add more later.
- Stir. Note: tomato sauce splatters if left unattended on the stove.
- When sauce begins to boil, lower the heat and place meatballs in one by one.
- Let cook for 15 minutes and then stir, being careful not to break apart meatballs. Thereafter, stir occasionally to prevent meatballs from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Cook over low heat for 2 1/2 hours.
- If sauce is too thick, add more water.
- If sauce is too spicy, add some sugar to balance out the spice.