Old World Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Total Time
2hrs 25mins
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!

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Make meatballs first.
  2. Combine all meatball ingredients, adding enough Italian bread crumbs to allow the ground meat to stick together when formed into a ball.
  3. Form meatballs into size slightly smaller than Dunkin Donuts munchkins, or a little smaller than a golf ball.
  4. Set aside meatballs.
  5. Cover bottom of a large pot with a light coating of olive oil.
  6. Dice fresh garlic and add to pot, frying until golden (about 30 seconds), but do not burn.
  7. Add paste, puree, crushed tomatoes and water.
  8. Add spices to taste. Go easy on the red pepper flakes, as you can always add more later.
  9. Stir. Note: tomato sauce splatters if left unattended on the stove.
  10. When sauce begins to boil, lower the heat and place meatballs in one by one.
  11. 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.
  12. Cook over low heat for 2 1/2 hours.
  13. If sauce is too thick, add more water.
  14. If sauce is too spicy, add some sugar to balance out the spice.

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