My favorite Italian-style meal is spaghetti with meatballs. I had a craving for it and this recipe came to be. I have made meatballs in marinara sauce in the past, but it has never turned out so well. I was so satisfied with this meal that I decided to share the recipe here.
Meatballs in Marinara Sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
small yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning blend
1 large (29-oz.) can tomato sauce
1 medium (15-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp ketchup
1-2 tsp salt
- In large pot, cook onion until soft. Add garlic and cook, while stirring, about 1 minute. Add Italian seasoning heat just until warmed and aromatic.
- Add tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, ketchup, and salt. Stir well to combine. Bring to gentle boil, reduce heat, and simmer at least 30 minutes (longer is better).
1.5 lbs lean ground beef
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup roasted garlic (or Italian) flavored breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp olive oil
- While sauce is simmering, combine all ingredients (except oil) in large bowl with a hand or stand mixer (for a finer texture).
- Form into balls, roughly 1″ in diameter. (Yields about 2 dozen meatballs this size.)
- Heat oil in heavy-bottomed pan. Sear meatballs on 2 or 3 sides in batches. Do not crowd the pan. They need not be fully cooked — they will finish cooking in the sauce. When each batch is finished, add meatballs directly into simmering sauce.
- Simmer meatballs in sauce 15-25 minutes (start cooking the pasta when the last batch of meatballs is started searing).
- Serve over bed of spaghetti noodles, 4 meatballs per plate.
Ideas for Modification
If you don’t have seasoned breadcrumbs, you can use plain breadcrumbs. Add Italian seasoning blend (about 1 Tbsp) and garlic powder (1-2 tsp) to the meatball mixture.
If your meatball mixture seems dry or will not form into balls easily, add a very small splash of milk.
These meatballs are great reheated. For a change of pace, while reheating the sauce, break the meatballs up into chunks. Cook elbow pasta 2 minutes shy of package directions and finish in the sauce.