Meal Zeal

May 1, 2010

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenseyt @ 4:54 pm

adapted from a combination of two recipes: Bon Apetit’s Three Cheese Lasagne with Italian Sausage and Food and Wine’s Slow-Cooker Meatballs in Tomato Sauce


  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 C chopped onion
  • 3/4 C finely chopped peeled carrots
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
  • 1/4 C tomato paste
  • 1/4 C chopped fresh basil
  • 1 T golden brown sugar
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 t dried crushed red pepper
  • Original recipe also calls for 6 ounces spicy Italian sausages, casings removed, which can be used instead of meatballs.

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and garlic; sauté until softened, about 12 minutes. [At this point you would add Italian sausage if using:  adding it to the pan, sauteing until cooked through, and breaking up with back of spoon–about 5 minutes.] Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer until flavors blend and sauce measures about 5 cups, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. For a less chunky sauce (maybe better for spaghetti than lasagne?) you can put in the food processor at this point. Discard bay leaf.


  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 3 T dry bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 T freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large bowl, mix the ground chuck with the garlic and the bread crumbs, egg, Parmigiano-Reggiano, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Roll the mixture into 18 meatballs, being careful not to pack them too firmly.

Add the meatballs to the sauce. Cover and cook until no trace of pink remains in the center of the meatballs.


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