This is one of my favorite Sunday suppers. It’s so cozy to fill your home with the smells of simmering homemade pasta sauce and meatballs. The longer you let the sauce simmer, the better it is. Add to that tender, flavourful meatballs and oh my goodness, a dinner that will have your family not walking but running to the table! This recipe is large enough to freeze. I love pulling this out of the freezer when I don’t feel much like cooking or am pinched for time.
Oh, one more thing…what’s a spaghetti dinner without some killer garlic bread? See that recipe below.
Homemade Meatballs and Sauce
For the sauce:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 28 ounce can tomato sauce + 1 ½ cans water
2 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1) Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Add onions, oregano, thyme, and basil. and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic, cook for one minute.
2) Add tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. This gives the paste a chance to caramelize or sweeten.
3) Add canned tomatoes, water, sugar, salt, and pepper. Turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer. Stir every 10-15 minutes. Prepare meatballs.
For the Meatballs:
1 ¼ lbs. ground turkey 93/7
1 ¼ lbs. lean ground beef
1 cup bread crumbs
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
¾ teaspoon granulated garlic powder
½ teaspoon granulated onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup water
1 lb. spaghetti
1) Preheat oven to 375’. Line a cookie sheet that has sides with non stick foil. Set aside.
2) Add meats to a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well with hands. (use gloves or meticulously clean hands with no cuts)
3) Scoop meatballs with a large cookie dough scoop. Shape into balls and place on sheet.
4) Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and add immediately to sauce. Simmer 30-60 minutes. Makes about 32 large meat balls. (be careful not to simmer much longer with the meatballs in the sauce or they will fall apart)
5) Cook pasta according to package directions less a couple of minutes. (if they say to cook for 10 minutes cook for 8) Put the pasta back into the cooking pot over medium heat. Immediately add a couple of ladles of sauce and cook for two minutes. The flavor of the sauce will cook into the pasta for the remaining couple of minutes. Serve immediately. Top with cheese and serve with a simple salad and garlic bread. YUM!
*try adding cooked Italian sausages to the sauce for an alternative to meatballs. Cut them into 2″ pieces.
*meatballs can be frozen with or without the sauce and can be easily used in other recipes.