Prep 20 mins
Cook 4 hrs
This is my own recipe and never published before. I usually just dump everything in the pot without measuring it, but decided that if I wanted to post it, I had better measure so that others can at least have a starting point. Tweak it to your own tastes by adding either spicy or sweet Italian sausage. I like the bite of spicy. The spices listed here are approximate. Taste often and add more as needed. Just remember, that although you can add spices all day long, you can never remove them once they are in the sauce so add a little at a time, simmer a short time, taste and add more if desired. Make the recipe your own in the comfort of your kitchen by taking liberties with it. I won't mind in the least. It is what I would do if this recipe was posted by you. Note: The meatballs will feel dry due to the breadcrumbs while mixing. It will take some effort to mix, but do not add egg to the mix. Just keep squeezing the mixture through your fingers until all the cheese and bread crumbs are incorporated into the meat. You will not need the egg to bind them.
- 1 1⁄2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 1⁄2 lbs ground pork
- 1 lb Italian sausage
- 1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons chopped parsley, divided
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 1 (12 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 1⁄2 cups water (I rinse the tomato sauce cans with water and pour it into the pot)
- 1⁄2 cup diced sweet red pepper
- 1 large bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons crushed basil
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms (optional)
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- Mix together with wet hands the ground beef, ground pork, bread crumbs, cheese, garlic powder, 2 tablespoons parsley, black pepper and onion powder into a large mixing bowl.
- Shape into meatballs.
- Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven or large pot; brown the meatballs 1/2 at a time in the hot oil, removing them to drain as they brown and adding the rest until all are browned; set aside.
- Add the onion and garlic to the oil left in the pan.
- Add Italian sausage (bulk or casings removed from links and crumbled) to the onions and garlic; sauté until veggies are tender and sausage is browned; drain any fat left in the pan.
- Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste to the sausage mixture.
- Add the browned meatballs.
- Rinse the tomato sauce cans with the water and add to the tomato sauce.
- Stir in the wine, diced bell pepper, bay leaf, basil, oregano and brown sugar.
- Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally; turn heat down to a simmer and cover.
- Simmer 3 to 5 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Taste often and add more spices to taste if needed, simmering after each addition before tasting again.
- Add the sliced mushrooms and red pepper flakes 1 hour before serving if desired.
- Serve over hot, cooked and drained spaghetti.
- Sauce can be frozen. Place in freezer containers or freezer bags for another meal.
I too increased the sauce recipe - tripled it actually. Husband requests I make it again!
This was very good. It's similar to my own recipe, but I never thought of adding the sausage to the sauce. It definitely took it to the next level. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks for the great recipe!
I simmered this in a crock pot all day and it turned out great. Served about 10. Even better as leftovers as the sauce thickens a bit. It was a huge hit with everyone and it's the first recipe in my cookbook! Thank you Karen for helping me fool people into thinking I'm a great cook. Credit goes to you.