Nonna Lina's recipe for tomato sauce with meatballs is a staple in her house. She uses this sauce to top
almost any kind of pasta, gnocchi, and polenta. The trick to this recipe, as in most Italian cooking is to use the best ingredients you can find.
Although Nonna cans her own tomatoes from her garden, good canned, chopped
tomatoes imported from Italy work just as well. Pomi is one brand that is now available in grocery stores, and is particularly tasty.
The choice of meat is up to you, but it is good to add a piece of both sparerib, and beef to the sauce,
and beef and veal, or beef and turkey for the meatballs. Here is the recipe;
For The Sauce:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
1 Small Onion, Chopped Fine
1 Stalk of Celery, Finely Chopped
2 or 3 Small Pieces of Meat (Pork, Beef, or Chicken)
Salt & Pepper
1/4 Cup Chopped Basil
1/2 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
1/2 Tablespoon Dried Thyme
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
Dash of Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
2 (6oz) Cans Tomato Paste
1 Large Can Pureed Tomatoes ( I use 1 (26oz) box Pomi Tomatoes)
About 5 Cups water
3 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Pound Of Spaghetti or Pasta of Choice
Brown the meat pieces in the oil until well browned. Add the garlic, onion, and celery and saut� until tender.
Add the paste, tomatoes, water and herbs, and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to your own personal taste.
Turn mixture down to a simmer, then drop the prepared meatballs into the sauce. Do not stir for the first 15 minutes
or so until the meatballs begin to firm up.
Continue to cook for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, and adding extra
water as needed if the sauce becomes too thick. This sauce, with or without the meatballs can now be used over your
pasta of choice. Though most people would choose spaghetti, personally I prefer rigatoni or penne. Serve over pasta
cooked al dente, and offer a little more parmesan cheese at the table. With the addition of a nice mixed salad and some crusty
Italian bread, this pasta dish would easily make a complete meal. I would choose a robust Chianti wine to accompany
1 lb. Ground Beef
1/2 lb. Ground Pork or Veal
Salt & Pepper
1 or 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Parsley
2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup Soft Bread Crumbs
1/2 Cup Water
Add the bread crums to the water to moisten. Mix all the ingredients together with the bread crumb mixture. Shape into golf ball sized balls, and gently drop into the simmering sauce.
Nonna Lina ~ 2003