Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Italian Meatballs In Sauce

By Deborah Mele
Service for : 4 to 6 people

This dish is one variation of Italain meatballs cooked in sauce, and served as a main course. I formed my meatballs into patties so they actually are more like individual meat loaves. They are cooked in a tasty tomato sauce that can be served separately over pasta allowing this dish to become a complete meal.

Because you are combining ground meet with other moist ingredients, and then are cooking the meatballs in sauce, they are very tender and moist even if you use such lean meats as ground turkey or ground sirloin as I used in my photos. Use good quality chopped tomatoes for the sauce such as Pomi or Muir Glen brands. I used Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes in my sauce which gave it a nice smokey flavor.

Tomato Sauce:

1 28oz. Can Chopped Tomatoes
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Minced
4 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Fresh Basil
Salt & Pepper


1 Pound Ground Meat Of Choice (Turkey, Beef, Pork, or Veal work well)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3/4 Cup Finely Chopped Onions
3/4 Cup Pine Nuts
1 Cup Mushrooms, Finely Chopped (Button Or Baby Bella)
3 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Minced
1/2 Cup Fresh Parsley, Finely Chopped
2/3 Cup Fresh Breadcrumbs
1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
1 Large Egg
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest, Minced


Heat the oil in a large shallow saucepan, and add onions. Cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for
another minute. Add the tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer while you prepare the meat.

In a frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil. Add the onion, mushrooms, and pine nuts and cook until the pine nuts begin to turn brown. Add the garlic, stir well, and remove from heat. Combine the remaining ingredients with the onion mixture and mix until well blended.

Form the meatballs into 6 separate patties, and brown in the frying pan used to cook the onion mixture until the meatballs are browned on both sides, turning carefully as needed. Gently place the meatballs into the saucepan holding the sauce and cover. Continue to cook the meatballs in the simmering sauce for 25 minutes more. Remove the meatballs and serve hot with a little sauce, using the remaining sauce to top your choice of pasta.

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