Meatballs and Easy Sauce

Nobody likes a bad meatball. My recipe is foolproof. I’ve made these hundreds of times with perfect results every time. There are a couple of secrets here though. The milk soaked white bread is a must. I mean enriched white bread (ie. wonder bread or the like). The other important step is to quickly brown the balls in a pan without cooking them through, then adding them to your simmering sauce to finish. This yields an amazingly flavourful sauce that tastes like it’s been cooking for hours and meatballs that are soft but slightly dense. This recipe makes enough sauce and meatballs (with extra) for 2 pounds of pasta. You can definitely half it. I usually make a full batch and then we make meatball subs with the left overs. You can also make his a day or 2 in advance just reheat and serve with your favourite pasta and lots of Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

For the sauce:

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes (before adding meatballs)

1/2 onion chopped

1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 jars Passata or 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes

1 cup red wine

1 tablespoon sugar

For the meatballs: (yield 24)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes p

2 pounds lean ground beef

1 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs

2 large eggs

2-3 cloves garlic grated

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

3 slices white bread

1 cup milk


Place onions, spices and olive oil in a large pot and sauté on medium heat for 5-7 minutes just until onions are translucent and starting to soften. Add tomatoes, wine and sugar stir well and simmer covered on medium low heat while you prepare the meatballs.


Place bread in a bowl with milk and let it soak. After about 10 minutes mush it with a fork into a paste breaking up any large pieces. Set aside.

Add all meatball ingredients including soaked bread into a mixer ( mix with paddle attachment for about 20 seconds on medium speed.I prefer this method) OR you can use your hands to incorporate all of the ingredients well. You may find the mixture slightly wet or sticky (that’s good). You can set your hands to make it easier to handle. Form mixture into balls. I usually make them slightly larger than a golf ball which yields approximately 24 good sized meat balls. You can go bigger or smaller.

Heat a non stick frying pan on medium heat. Place meatballs in the hot pan and brown on all sides (about 5 minutes). Don’t cook them through. When they are brown gently drop them into the sauce which should be bubbling and hot. Once all of the meatballs are in the pot with the sauce, carefully stir so that all of them are covered by the sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with you favourite pasta. Can be made and refrigerated for 3 days.

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