Grandmother’s Meatballs + Sunday Sauce
Prep time 28mins
Cook time 2hrs
Serves or Makes: 6

Recipe Card

For the tomato sauce


  • 3 28 ounce cans Tuttorosso Tomatoes San Marzano Style Hand Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
  • handful of basil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano, (Sicilian or Calabrian if you can find)
  • Calabrian chili pepper (or crushed red pepper), optional

For the meatballs


  • 1 pound beef, veal, and pork combination, you could also just use ground beef or beef and pork
  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, for sauteing


  • Step 1

    In a medium pot, add the extra virgin olive oil to medium low heat.

  • Step 2

    After about 30 seconds, add the garlic. Once the garlic gets a little color, add salt, pepper, oregano, and crushed red pepper.

  • Step 3

    Add in Tuttorosso Tomatoes San Marzano Style Hand Crushed Tomatoes.

  • Step 4

    Add a handful of fresh basil and bring to a low boil. After about 3 mins, return to low heat and simmer while you prepare the meatballs (about 30 mins).

  • Step 5

    In a bowl, add the ground meat mixture, 2 eggs, 1 cup of pecorino, 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs, garlic (you could also use garlic powder), 1/4 cup of fresh parsley, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.

  • Step 6

    Mix together with your hands (PRO TIP: wet your hands as you mix). Once evenly combined, you should be able to roll into a ball, holding its form. If it's too soft, you can add more cheese if needed. Roll about 2.5 ounces in the palm of your hands to form an even ball (this should yield 10 meatballs).

  • Step 7

    In a pan, add enough extra virgin olive oil to coat the pan (about 1/4 cup) Keep the heat on medium and add the meatballs.

  • Step 8

    With a spoon, flip them over after 2-3 mins After another 2-3 mins, remove and add right into your sauce.

  • Step 9

    Cover and let simmer stirring occasionally for at least one hour (PRO TIP: use something like a spatula to mix so that you don't break any of the meatballs while they are finishing cooking in the sauce).