If this doesn’t scream Sunday night dinner I don’t know what does!  A pot of homemade sauce simmering on the stove around 2pm is the making of a perfect Sunday for me!  Reading sauce and meatball recipes always crack me up a bit…every person, every family, heck every restaurant thinks they have the best recipe out there.  It’s just one of those meals that lends itself to so many variations.

I won’t try to tell you mine is the BEST but I will tell ya it’s absolutely delicious.  The secret to my recipe…using three types of ground meat – beef, pork and veal.  Another must…pecorino romano grated cheese…parmesan just isn’t gonna cut it for this recipe.

Ok…I’ll stop talking now and just let the photos do their job.   Enjoy!

(Prtinable recipe below)

 In a large stockpot, add extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), enough to just cover the bottom of the pot and warm over med heat.

Add chopped garlic + onion and cook until fragrant and the onions are translucent. Don’t brown the garlic or onion…you just want to get them to really sweat all their yummy flavor into the evoo.

Add the canned tomatoes, basil, wine, balsamic vinegar, and salt + pepper.  (Measurements are listed below)

This is my basic marinara that won’t disappoint. You can use this sauce over pasta or use as a base it to create a chicken,  shrimp or eggplant parmesan.

The options are endless using this as your starting sauce.

Meatballs

The key to adding a ton of flavor is using three types of ground meat.  Beef, pork and veal together add tons of flavor to the meatballs and the sauce as they simmer.

In a large bowl, combine by hand all the ingredients for the meatballs.

I prefer mixing by hand over using an electric mixer. I find using a mixer removes the natural texture of the meat and makes the texture to smooth and processed.

Next take small handfuls of the meatball mixture and roll them into balls. You can get precise and use a scale to measure the weight or you can eyeball it (which I usually do).

In a large frying pan add EVOO to generously coat the bottom of the pot and warm the oil over med/high heat.

Working in groups, add a few meatballs at a time and continue turning them until the entire meatball is nice and browned all the way around.

 

Once browned add them to your sauce to finish cooking.

Repeat until all the meatballs are browned and added to the sauce.

Allow the meatballs to simmer in the sauce for about an hour.

You can serve this alone with bread and a side salad or over your favorite pasta.  There’s definitely no wrong way to eat this and I dare you to just eat one 🙂 

Homemade Sauce + Meatballs

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes

Equipment

  • Large Stockpot (8 qt+)
  • Large Frying Pan

Ingredients

Sauce (aka Sunday Gravy!)

  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic finely diced
  • ½ large yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes (I prefer Cento or another brand that used San Marzano tomatoes)
  • 2 28 oz cans of petite diced tomatoes (you can also use all crushed by I like a little more texture in my sauce)
  • handful fresh basil chopped into thin ribbons
  • salt/pepper to taste I add 6 turns on my pepper grinder & 8-10 on my salt grinder. I start there and add more as needed over the cooktime.
  • 2 tbsp good quality thick balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup red wine

Meatballs

  • 1.5 lb ground beef (85% or less lean)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 lb ground pork measurements on the pork/veal do not need to be exact
  • 1/2 - 3/4 lb ground veal
  • 10 oz grated pecorino Romano cheese I recommend Locatelli (but any pecorino will do!) **Just no parmesan - it's not sharp enough to stand out over the meats.
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • large bunch of fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 3-4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • additional EVOO to fry the meatballs

Instructions

The Sauce

  • In a large stockpot, add extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and warm over med heat.
  • Add chopped garlic + onion and cook until fragrant and onions are translucent. (Don't brown the garlic or onion...you just want to get them to really sweat out the flavors into the evoo.
  • Add the canned tomatoes, basil, wine, balsamic vinegar, and salt + pepper.
  • Let simmer for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors time to develop.
  • ***This is my basic marinara that won't disappoint 🙂 . You can use this sauce as it over pasta or use it to create a chicken/shrimp/eggplant parmesan. Options are endless.

MEATBALLS

  • In a large bowl combine by hand, all the ingredients for the meatballs. You can add them all at once or little by little. Whichever you prefer.
    **I prefer mixing by hand over using an electric mixer. I find the mixer removes the natural texture of the meat and creates a processed like texture.
  • In a large frying pan add additional EVOO to generously coat the bottom and warm over med/high heat. Working in groups, add the meatballs and continue turning them until the entire meatball is nice and browned all the way around.
  • Once browned add them to your sauce to finish cooking.
  • Repeat until all the meatballs are browed and added to the sauce.
  • Allow the meatballs to simmer in the sauce for about an hour.
  • Then serve with your favorite pasta.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!  And of course tag me on Instagram @jaclynjameshome if you whip this up!

xoxo

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