These Italian meatballs are cooked directly in a thick tomato meatball sauce. Serve with any tubular pasta for an easy dinner your whole family will love!
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 1hour40minutes
Total Time 1hour55minutes
For the Sauce
1smallonion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
4clovesgarlic, pressed or minced
1 28-ouncecan crushed or puréed tomatoes
1 6-ouncecan tomato paste
1teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
For the Meatballs
1poundground chuck beef
1largeegg, lightly beaten
1/3cupItalian-seasoned bread crumbs
1/2teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
12ouncestube pasta , (such as penne or ziti)
Parmesan cheese , for serving
Chopped parsley , for garnish
For the sauce:
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 10 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook to deepen the color for more flavor.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste and stir well. Add the sugar, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover with a lid and cook for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so the bottom doesn't burn and the flavors develop.
For the meatballs:
Meanwhile, prepare the meatballs. Break the beef apart in a large bowl. Add the beaten egg, bread crumbs, oregano, mint, salt and pepper. Gently mix with your hands until blended. Don't overwork the beef or the meatballs will be tough.
Shape the mixture into about 12 1 1/2-inch meatballs. Drop them into the sauce and stir gently to cover in sauce. Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Boil the pasta according to the package directions. Drain.
Remove the meatballs from the sauce and add the pasta. Gently stir to coat the pasta then add the meatballs back to the pan. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.
Reprinted with permission, Eating in the Middle: A Mostly Wholesome Cookbook.