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Garlic Lover’s Meatballs and Sauce

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
  • Makes
    6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 large 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:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 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
  • Additional grated cheese and minced parsley, optional

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Add beef; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 12 meatballs. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Brown meatballs; drain.
  • For sauce, in a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, 2 cups water, tomato sauce and paste, parsley, cheese, basil, sugar and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; carefully add meatballs.
  • Simmer, covered, 3 hours to allow flavors to blend, stirring occasionally and adding additional water as necessary. If desired, serve with additional cheese and parsley.

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