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A Cooking Adventure with Thom

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Spaghetti Sauce with Meat Balls

Original Recipe from Maggie Freedenberg's Blog

Friday January 11, 2008




Maggie says. "Feel free to experiment by adding sautéed mushrooms, green peppers, etc. to your sauce, and spices such as crushed red pepper, rosemary, etc. It's your own homemade sauce, after all, so it should reflect your tastes."  She also posted a warning:  Your house will smell AMAZING while the sauce is cooking.  Neighbors may drop in unannounced!



Sauce Ingredients:
28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, drained
6-oz can tomato paste
3-8 cloves garlic, peeled and diced (depending on size of cloves)
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon basil

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

1 tablespoon sugar

Olive oil

Meatball Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef (Turkey, Pork or Veal will work)

1 egg

¼ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons milk

2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese


Cooking Method


In large pot or dutch oven, slowly heat enough olive oil to cover bottom of pot over medium heat.  When the oil gets shimmery, raise heat slightly, then add garlic and onions and sauté, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent. 

  1. Add tomato paste and stir until well combined.

  2. Add basil, oregano, Italian Seasoning, sugar, diced tomatoes and continue to stir.

  3. Add crushed tomatoes, stir again, reduce heat to simmer and cover.

  4. Simmer at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

  5. Add Meat Balls and continue to simmer another hour or so.


Meat Balls:

While the sauce is simmering:

  1. Heat oven to 400°F.

  2. Combine 1 lb. ground beef/turkey/pork/veal with 1 egg and about ¼ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs.

  3. Add remaining ingredients and combine.

  4. When well combined, roll by hand into balls about 1 inch in diameter and place on an oven pan that has been lightly greased.

  5. Brown meatballs in oven for 20 minutes.

  6. Remove from oven and drop one by one into the simmering sauce, stir gently to cover the meatballs and simmer for at least 1 hour.



Canned tomatoes are readily available in any supermarket.  Tastiest brands (IMO) are Muir Glen and Hunt's; cheapest way to go is store brand.

Storing/freezing extra sauce is great for a quick meal (just heat sauce on stove or in microwave, cook some pasta, and you have dinner in less than 15 minutes).  I store sauce in the plastic quart wonton soup containers from Chinese takeout (thoroughly washed, of course!)  You can also use Ziploc freezer bags for storage -- just make sure the sauce is cooled and that you have someone to help you, as you will need 4 hands to get the sauce into the bag!  Sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to a week and in the freezer for several months


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