My mother got this recipe from our Italian neighbors in the 1950s. It's been a big hit at our church community dinners, where we sometimes make three or four batches of this wonderful sauce.—Monica Crouch, Trotwood, Ohio
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cans (28 ounces each) tomato puree
- 2 cans (28 ounces each) tomato sauce
- 2 cans (12 ounces each) tomato paste
- 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups soft bread crumbs
- 2 cups grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, divided
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 3 pounds lean ground beef
- In two or three stockpots or Dutch ovens, saute garlic and parsley in oil 1 minute. Add tomato puree, sauce, paste, sugar and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 2-1/2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375°. For meatballs, in a large bowl, combine the eggs, water, onion, bread crumbs, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, garlic and seasonings; mix well. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. Place meatballs on greased racks in shallow baking pans. Bake, uncovered, 15-18 minutes or until no longer pink.
Stir the remaining Parmesan into spaghetti sauce; simmer 30 minutes. Drain meatballs on paper towels; add to sauce.
Freeze option: Freeze cooled meatballs and sauce in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a covered saucepan, gently stirring and adding a little broth / water if necessary. Yield: 20-24 servings.
Originally published as Spaghetti and Meatballs in Taste of Home April/May 2002, p54
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