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Homemade Sauce + Meatballs

Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian


  • Large Stockpot (8 qt+)
  • Large Frying Pan


Sauce (aka Sunday Gravy!)

  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic finely diced
  • ½ large yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes (I prefer Cento or another brand that used San Marzano tomatoes)
  • 2 28 oz cans of petite diced tomatoes (you can also use all crushed by I like a little more texture in my sauce)
  • handful fresh basil chopped into thin ribbons
  • salt/pepper to taste I add 6 turns on my pepper grinder & 8-10 on my salt grinder. I start there and add more as needed over the cooktime.
  • 2 tbsp good quality thick balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup red wine


  • 1.5 lb ground beef (85% or less lean)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 lb ground pork measurements on the pork/veal do not need to be exact
  • 1/2 - 3/4 lb ground veal
  • 2-3 eggs crack and mix into the meat Rule of thumb is about 1 egg per pound of meat
  • 10 oz grated pecorino Romano cheese I recommend Locatelli (but any pecorino will do!) **Just no parmesan - it's not sharp enough to stand out over the meats.
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • large bunch of fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 3-4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • additional EVOO to fry the meatballs


The Sauce

  • In a large stockpot, add extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and warm over med heat.
  • Add chopped garlic + onion and cook until fragrant and onions are translucent. (Don't brown the garlic or onion...you just want to get them to really sweat out the flavors into the evoo.
  • Add the canned tomatoes, basil, wine, balsamic vinegar, and salt + pepper.
  • Let simmer for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors time to develop.
  • ***This is my basic marinara that won't disappoint :) . You can use this sauce as it over pasta or use it to create a chicken/shrimp/eggplant parmesan. Options are endless.


  • In a large bowl combine by hand, all the ingredients for the meatballs. You can add them all at once or little by little. Whichever you prefer.
    **I prefer mixing by hand over using an electric mixer. I find the mixer removes the natural texture of the meat and creates a processed like texture.
  • In a large frying pan add additional EVOO to generously coat the bottom and warm over med/high heat. Working in groups, add the meatballs and continue turning them until the entire meatball is nice and browned all the way around.
  • Once browned add them to your sauce to finish cooking.
  • Repeat until all the meatballs are browed and added to the sauce.
  • Allow the meatballs to simmer in the sauce for about an hour.
  • Then serve with your favorite pasta.