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Garlic Lover's Meatballs and Sauce Recipe

Garlic Lover's Meatballs and Sauce Recipe

This dish is a staple in our part of the country. My daughter Amber and I invented our version after eating at an Italian restaurant in St. Louis. We came pretty close to copying that dish, but added our own little twist. —Toni Holcomb, Rogersville, Missouri
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Cook: 20 min. + simmering YIELD:6 servings


  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • SAUCE:
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 2 to 3 cups water, divided
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Additonal grated Parmesan cheese and minced fresh parsley, optional


  • 1. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 12 meatballs. In a large skillet, brown meatballs in oil on all sides; drain.
  • 2. In a Dutch oven, saute garlic in oil for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, 2 cups water, tomato sauce and paste, parsley, cheese, basil and sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; carefully add meatballs.
  • 3. Cover and simmer for 3 hours, adding more water if needed to achieve desired consistency. Season with pepper. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and parsley if desired. Yield: 6 servings.

Nutritional Facts

2 meatballs with 1 cup sauce equals 397 calories, 18 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 105 mg cholesterol, 929 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 26 g protein.

Wine Pairings

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.