Sunday Sauce with Meatballs

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Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 2 hours 20 min
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients Add to grocery list

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
6   garlic cloves, finely chopped, plus 3 garlic cloves, chopped
2   eggs
1 lb ground sirloin or lean ground beef, pork, turkey, veal, chicken or any combinati

Meatballs and Ribs:
1 cup water
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1   medium onion, chopped
4   garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2   (35 ounce) cans plum tomatoes with basil

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 lb pork spare ribs, trimmed
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1   (6-ounce) can tomato paste, for sauce and ribs






Strain the plum tomatoes in a colander to extract the juice, breaking the tomatoes apart with your hands. Discard the pulp and set aside. 

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add 4 cloves garlic, the onion, red pepper and black pepper. Saute until the onion is soft and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add juiced tomatoes, red wine, Parmesan and salt. Add the tomato paste and the water and stir together over medium heat. *Cook’s Note: Tomato paste should be added after making meatballs and ribs. 


Put the ground meat in a mixing bowl. Beat the eggs and add them to the meat along with 6 cloves garlic, the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, Parmesan and milk. Mix this all together with your hands. Wet your hands with water and continue to wet them as you pinch meat from the bowl and roll into 2-inch balls. Roll the balls in the flour. 

Heat 1/2-cup of oil in a large skillet. Add 3 cloves chopped garlic and saute until golden brown. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the meatballs and saute over medium-high heat, turning them until they are brown all over. 

*Cook’s Note: As soon as you can pick them up with a fork, they are ready. You don’t want them to be well done. If the meatball slides off the fork when you pick it up, it needs to cook a little longer. 


Cut the ribs apart and remove the membrane. Saute them in 1/2-cup oil until very brown and remove. 

Return the garlic to the oil and add tomato paste (for the sauce) to the pan; Cook, stirring, over medium heat for about 3 minutes until it softens. Remove from the heat and add to the sauce. 

Add the meatballs and spareribs to the sauce. Bring to an easy boil, then simmer over low heat for 2 hours. Add the basil and simmer for 15 minutes more. The spareribs should be very tender, falling off the bone and the meatballs should float in the sauce.

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Reader Comments:


By Anonymous on November 11, 2010


These meatballs have a GREAT flavor and texture. I will defintely cut the salt WAY back! My family LOVED the meatballs despite the salty taste!

By Anonymous on September 30, 2010


The meatballs I have been making for all these years always came out hard and no taste. These are the best I ever had. Not rubbery, dry or tasteless. Perfect! I did my sauce in the crock pot and cooked on low for 6 hours. I added the meatballs after 3 hours.

By boosmom on April 26, 2009

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