Meatballs in Rich Tomato Sauce


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Welcome to our guide on how to make delicious meatballs in a rich tomato sauce. This classic dish brings together juicy meatballs cooked in a flavorful tomato-based sauce that will leave your taste buds satisfied. Whether you’re serving them as a main course with pasta or as a mouthwatering appetizer, these meatballs are sure to be a hit. Join us as we walk you through the step-by-step instructions and share tips and variations to make this recipe your own.

Meatballs in Rich Tomato Sauce, known as “polpette al sugo” in Italian, is a beloved Italian comfort food that has become popular worldwide. This dish represents the heartiness and flavors of traditional Italian cuisine.

  • The origins of meatballs can be traced back to various regions in Italy, where they were made using locally available ingredients and spices.
  • The concept of simmering meatballs in tomato sauce, creating a rich and savory combination, is a hallmark of Italian cooking.
  • Italian immigrants brought their love for meatballs to the United States, where they became a staple in ItalianAmerican cuisine.

Meatballs in Rich Tomato Sauce is a classic example of how simple ingredients and time-honored cooking techniques can create a comforting and satisfying meal.

Meatballs in Rich Tomato Sauce

Meatballs in rich tomato sauce are a comforting and versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or a flavorful addition to pasta, sandwiches, or even salads. The meatballs are made with a combination of ground meat, breadcrumbs, herbs, and spices, and are simmered in a delicious tomato-based sauce that is bursting with flavors. The result is tender and juicy meatballs bathed in a rich and tangy sauce that is simply irresistible.

Tools and Equipment

Prep Time 30 mins Cook Time 1 hr Total Time 1 hr 30 mins Difficulty: Intermediate Servings: 4 Calories: 498.02 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


For the meatballs:

For the tomato sauce:

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, milk, egg, minced garlic, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.

  3. Mix the ingredients together until well combined, but avoid overmixing.

  4. Shape the mixture into meatballs, about 1-2 inches in diameter, and place them on a baking sheet.

  5. Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through and lightly browned.

  6. While the meatballs are baking, prepare the tomato sauce.

  7. In a non-stick skillet or frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

  8. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until softened and translucent.

  9. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for an additional minute.

  10. Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes (with their juices), dried basil, dried oregano, sugar, salt, and pepper to the skillet.

  11. Bring the sauce to a simmer and let it cook for 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

  12. Once the meatballs are cooked, transfer them to the skillet with the tomato sauce.

  13. Gently stir the meatballs into the sauce, making sure they are coated evenly.

  14. Continue to simmer the meatballs in the sauce for an additional 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to further develop.

  15. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning, if needed, with additional salt, pepper, or herbs.

  16. Serve the meatballs in rich tomato sauce hot, garnished with fresh parsley or grated Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 498.02kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 30.99g48%
Saturated Fat 10.89g55%
Trans Fat 1.34g
Cholesterol 127.52mg43%
Sodium 1080.44mg46%
Potassium 1041.73mg30%
Total Carbohydrate 27.29g10%
Dietary Fiber 3.8g16%
Sugars 8.75g
Protein 28.89g58%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Please note that the nutritional values provided are approximate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes used. It's always best to double-check with your specific ingredients and measurements for accurate nutritional information.


Tips and Variations:
  • Experiment with different ground meats, such as a combination of beef and pork or turkey, for varying flavors and textures.
  • Add grated Parmesan cheese or breadcrumbs to the meatball mixture for extra moisture and binding.
  • For a spicier kick, incorporate diced jalapeños or crushed red pepper flakes into the tomato sauce.
  • Customize the sauce by adding vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, or spinach.
  • Serve the meatballs with your choice of pasta, rice, or crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.
  • Garnish the dish with fresh herbs, such as basil or parsley, for added freshness and visual appeal.
Serving Suggestions:
  • Serve the meatballs in rich tomato sauce as a main course with a side of pasta or crusty bread.
  • Pair them with a green salad or steamed vegetables for a well-rounded meal.
  • Use the meatballs to make sandwiches or sliders by placing them in a warm bun with melted cheese and additional sauce.
Allergen Information:
  • The primary allergen in Meatballs in Rich Tomato Sauce is typically ground meat (beef, pork, veal, or a combination). Be sure to check for potential allergens in breadcrumbs, cheese, or seasonings used in the meatball mixture. The tomato sauce may contain garlic, onions, and potential allergens in seasonings. Individuals with allergies or dietary restrictions should choose allergen-free alternatives as needed.
Wine or Drink Pairing:
  • Meatballs in Rich Tomato Sauce pairs wonderfully with a variety of Italian wines, such as Chianti or Sangiovese. These wines complement the richness and acidity of the tomato sauce.
  • For non-alcoholic options, consider serving it with sparkling water, a classic Italian soda, or a simple glass of iced tea to balance the flavors.
Storage and Leftovers:
  • Meatballs in Rich Tomato Sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.
  • To reheat, gently warm the meatballs and sauce in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave, being careful not to overcook them.
  • Leftover meatballs and tomato sauce can be used in various ways, such as making meatball subs, adding them to pasta, or incorporating them into a hearty soup. This versatile dish ensures that no delicious morsel goes to waste.
Keywords: Meatballs, tomato sauce, comfort food, Italian cuisine, main course, appetizer, ground meat, herbs, spices

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