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Italian Spaghetti with Meatballs

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
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. Cook: 3 hours
  • Makes
    20-24 servings

Ingredients

  • 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
  • MEATBALLS:
  • 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

Directions

  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 185 calories, 8g fat (3g saturated fat), 66mg cholesterol, 545mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 16g protein.

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