I love to make meatballs. Sometimes I sear them in a skillet before dropping them into the huge vat of simmering red sauce. Sometimes I bake them for a bit. This recipe has been posted before and I will continue to post it when I make a batch because they're that good!
Let's make the sauce first:
A word of caution here: This makes a HUGE pot of sauce. I cooked this in my Le Creuset 9-quart Dutch oven and with the addition of the meatballs, it was filled to the brim. You can certainly cut this recipe in half, but while you're cooking, why not go ahead and make a full recipe and divide and freeze portions for upcoming meals?
1 T. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 sweet green peppers, chopped
2 T. finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup red wine
3 large cans of either crushed or pureed tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano added
2 small cans tomato paste (plus 2 cans filled with water)
salt and pepper to taste
1 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. Tone's spicy spaghetti seasoning
In a LARGE Dutch oven over medium heat, pour olive oil and add onion and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened. Add garlic and let cook about a minute, stirring constantly.
Add red wine and let it cook for about 2 minutes until the alcohol has evaporated.
Then add the remaining ingredients, stirring well after each addition.
Lower heat to barely simmering and let sauce cook for at least 2 hours. If you are making the meatballs to serve with the sauce, drop them in as they are seared. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking.
Serve over your favorite pasta and enjoy!
For the meatballs:
1 pound ground round
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
2 pounds ground pork
1 small yellow onion, small diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried basil
2 T. chopped parsley
1 t. salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup Italian styled dried breadcrumbs
Crushed red pepper flakes (if desired)
In a LARGE bowl, combine all ingredients, lightly mixing with clean hands. You don't want to attempt to use a spatula or spoon. As Ina says, "Clean hands are the cook's best tools."
Of course, you can roll these meatballs any size you prefer. But before you begin to shape the meatballs, heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add a small amount of olive oil and take about a half dollar size amount of the meatball mixture and flatten it slightly into a patty shape. Place in the skillet and brown on both sides and taste. If you need to adjust the seasonings, now is the time to do that before you roll out all these beautiful meatballs.
In the same skillet, place several meatballs and let brown on all sides. Don't crowd the skillet. If you do, the meatballs will not brown properly. As the meatballs are seared, drop them into the pot of sauce to continue cooking all the way through.
OR you can bake them on a greased baking sheet at 375 degrees F. for 15 - 18 minutes and then place them in the sauce.