Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr
This is one of my families favorites, as it was mine when I was a kid. Of course it always tastes better the second day. The bread in the meatballs gives them a wonderful texture and flavor.
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 (16 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 2 (12 ounce) cans tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup water
ITALIAN MEAT BALLS
- 4 slices dry bread
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 eggs
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 dash pepper
- hot cooked spaghetti
- Cook the onion in hot oil until it is tender but not brown.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, salt, pepper, oregano and bay leaves.
- Simmer for 30 minutes. As the sauce simmers keep an eye on it, if it looks too thick add some water up to one cup.
- While the sauce is simmering mix together the meatballs.
- To dry the bread I preheat my oven to it's lowest setting (170 degrees) and when it gets to temp I turn it off and place the bread slices in and let the low heat dry them.
- Remove from the oven and place in a mixing bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a cookie sheet with sides with foil.
- Soak the dried bread in water 2-3 mintues, then squeeze out the moisture.
- (Doing this does something to the gluten in the bread that gives the meatballs a wonderful taste and texture).
- Combine the bread with the rest of the ingredients, mixing well with your hands.
- Form into small balls (approx 20).
- Bake for 15 minutes or until they are cooked through.
- Remove from the pan and add to the simmering sauce.
- Cook for 30 minutes longer.
- Serve over hot spaghetti noodles.
We liked this a lot but made a few changes. For the tomato products because of what I had on hand I used 28 oz crushed tomatoes, 28 oz tomato sauce, 15 oz diced tomato and only 12 oz tomato paste. Two 12 oz cans of tomato paste would've been too thick. Instead of water I used red wine (approximately 1/2 cup) and I added two cloves crushed garlic. Next time I will reduce the salt. The meatballs were prefect after I added garlic. Thanks for sharing. I will make this again with my changes.
What a wonderful recipe! I used ground turkey, Egg Beaters, Aunt Millie's whole grain bread, and Mrs. Dash instead of the salt and pepper. This preserves the taste of the meatballs while lowering the fat and, cholesterol, and sodium.
I've only made spaghetti and meatballs a few times and have never found the perfect recipe. This was good, but still not what I was looking for. I preferred another recipe which used bread crumbs, basil, and milk and omitted the oregano and cheese in the meatballs. Also, I'd recommend reducing the tomato paste and cooking the meatballs in the sauce, rather than baking separately.