I grew up on this recipe and always, always ,always have several jars, one in the fridge and the more in the freezer. There is no excuse for running out. My Grandma has been gone for many years now, but this is her recipe straight from the old country. I have made a couple of adjustments in the last few years to the ingredients in the meatballs. Made it a bit healthier. I hope it makes your family as happy as it makes mine!
My Private Note
Units: US | Metric
- 1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
- 1 1/2 lbs hot Italian sausage (removed from casing if you can't find it loose) or 1 1/2 lbs ground beef is fine too as is sweet Italian sausage
- 1 cup grated pecorino romano cheese (buy the good stuff, it's worth it!)
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (I use fresh bread crumbs from double fiber bread Brownberry brand, the high fiber was a health thing)
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2-1 cup milk (Use your judgement, but these meatballs should be wetter than you might think, don't worry, they wil)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (use less if you have dried parsley)
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (or more to taste, I like more!)
- salt and pepper, to taste, but be generous this makes a lot
For the Sauce
- olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of your sauce pot, You'll need a big pot)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 10 garlic cloves, pressed
- 2 bay leaves (fresh if you have them)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (less if you are using dried)
- 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (or to taste, we like it hot)
- 4 (29 ounce) cans tomato sauce (I prefer Hunts)
- 2 (15 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes (I prefer Hunts)
- 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- salt and pepper
- 1Start the sauce:.
- 2Put oil in bottom of pre-heated sauce pot and let it heat up over medium heat. A nice heavy pot is best.
- 3Add the onion, green pepper, bay leaves,parsley and red pepper flakes and saute for for about 5 minutes or until the
- 4onion is translucent.
- 5Add the garlic and saute another minute or two, don't let the garlic brown.
- 6Add the first can of tomato sauce.
- 7Place the 2 cans of stewed tomatoes in a food processor and blend till finely pureed, add them to the pot.
- 8Add the other three cans of sauce. I go slowly so that the sauce can slowly come to temperature without having to have the heat too high and risk burning it.
- 9Add the can of diced tomatoes at the end.
- 10Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper.
- 11Turn heat to low and keep your eye on the pot while you prepare the meatballs. Stir occassionally. Don't let it burn.
- 12For the Meatballs:.
- 13Mix all the meatball ingredients together.
- 14I usually let the milk sit on the breadcrumbs for a few minutes to moisten them before I start combining the mixture together.
- 15They should be wet, don't panic, I let the mixture sit for about 10-15 minutes before I start forming the meatballs and it firms up a bit.
- 16Form them into balls and place as many as you can into a glass pie plate without touching. I have two pie plates going.
- 17Place the plate into your microwave, yes the microwave, and cook on high for 4 minutes. Grandma didn't do them this way, but they turn out great and it saves a ton of time and it's a whole lot less mess.
- 18Very carefully remove the pie plate from the oven and slide the contents into your simmering pot of sauce. No, I do not drain any of the fat. Darn stuff tastes great!
- 19Turn the heat up to about medium while you are adding the meatballs.
- 20Have your next pie plate of meatballs ready to go into the microwave and repeat process until you are out of meat. I usually get 3-4 plates, depends on how big you like your meatballs.
- 21Once everything is in the pot and is bubbling turn the heat back down to low and.
- 22Continue to very gently stir your pot of sauce with meatballs every now and then, you don't want to burn your sauce but you don't want to break up the meatballs either.
- 23Let simmer together for at least one hour. Longer won't hurt. Your entire neighborhood will smell amazing.
- 24Serve over your favorite pasta, or in your favorite recipe.
- 25I store them seperately, keep some in the fridge for another day and put the rest of the sauce in jars in the freezer. I freeze the meatballs individually and then store in bags. If you want to make more meatballs and freeze them before cooking, you can. Just place on a cookie sheet and freeze, then place in gallon size freezer bags. That way the next time you make the sauce it can be done and ready to eat in no time.
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Nutritional Facts for Old School Tomato Sauce With Meatballs
Serving Size: 1 (337 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 20
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 283.4
- Calories from Fat 123
- Total Fat 13.6 g
- Saturated Fat 4.4 g
- Cholesterol 68.3 mg
- Sodium 1576.5 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 25.0 g
- Dietary Fiber 3.8 g
- Sugars 12.3 g
- Protein 17.1 g
The following items or measurements are not included:
pecorino romano cheese