ITALIAN MEATBALLS IN TOMATO SAUCE
This is an absolute favorite in our house, and so versatile – serve over pasta, make meatball subs, or just in a big bowl with toothpicks for a party favorite! While you can easily buy pre-made meatballs, nothing beats homemade...not to mention being able to control the amount of filler as many store-bought meatballs tend to have more breadcrumbs or potato starch to get the price down.
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp dried basil
- 4- 14oz/397g cans diced tomatoes
- 1- 5oz/142g can tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp salt
- ¼ cup water
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1lb/0kg/0kg ground beef
- 1lb/0kg/0kg ground pork
- For Garnish: fresh basil leaves, shredded parmesan cheese
Sauce Method: Heat a 5 quart pot on medium-high. Add olive oil and onions, and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the carrot and cook for 5 minutes.
Mix in the garlic and basil and cook for 30 seconds. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer, covered, for 25-30 minutes, while you make your meatballs.
Meatball Method: Using a fork, whisk together eggs and milk. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the meat, and mix well to ensure the seasoning will be evenly distributed when you add the meat.
Still using a fork, fold in the ground beef and pork and mix well. Using your hands, shape into 1 ½ inch meatballs, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet(s).
Set your oven broiler/grill to high, and position the top rack so that the meatballs will be about 3 to 4 inches from the heat source. Cook the meatballs for 3-4 minutes to set the structure of the meatballs.
Gently fold the lightly grilled meatballs into the simmering sauce, cover and simmer another 10 minutes.
Place the lidded pot into your Wonderbag and seal for 6-7 hours.
To Serve: Salt and pepper to taste, serve over pasta, make meatball subs, or with toothpicks as a party snack. Topping it with fresh basil leaves and shredded parmesan adds beauty and flavor!
Tip: Get your sauce going first so that it’s warmed and ready for you to add the meatballs. Try to find a good brand of diced tomatoes that doesn’t add sugar and salt to maintain the nutritious aspect of this dish, and control your own flavor. For the meatballs, I use a blend of ground beef and pork as adds more depth of flavor, but you can of course use 100% of either one.