Homemade meatball sandwiches....from the meatballs to the sauce! The meatballs are baked, not fried, and the sauce and meatballs cook cook for almost 2 hours to create a delicious aroma and taste! Mama-mia!
Slice the french rolls in half. On one side of each roll, scrape out a hollow trough for the meatballs to nestle inches With the bread you scrape out, save 1 cup of the breadcrumbs for the meatballs. Place the buns back in a plastic bag and set aside.
For the meatballs:
Take the 1 cup of breadcrumbs from the rolls and combine it with the milk in a large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the sausage and the next 8 ingredients; mix well.
Shape the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place the meatballs in a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned. Set aside.
For the Sauce:
Saute the green peppers, chopped onion, and 2 cloves minced garlic in oil in a large saucepan until the vegetables are tender. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, water, sugar, 1 1/2 tsp basil, and 1/4 tsp oregano; stir well.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 45 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add the reserved meatballs; cover and simmer for 1 hour.
To assemble the sandwiches:
Take the French rolls out of the bag and brush lightly with the softened butter. Place cheese on the flat side of the bread (not the one you hollowed out for the meatballs). I cut my cheese slices in half so that they fit nicely on the bread and cover all the bread.
Broil 6 inches from the heat until lightly toasted and the cheese is melted and gooey -- watch carefully so the cheese doesn't burn.
Spoon meatball mixture onto the hollowed out side of the buns, and top with the cheese covered side of the bun. Enjoy!