Are you craving a hearty and delicious Italian dish? Look no further, because I’ve got the perfect recipe for you. In this article, I will show you how to make mouthwatering meatballs and tomato sauce the Italian way.

photo of Italian meatballs with tomato sauce served

Meatballs and Tomato Sauce Recipe

This is an Italian Style Complete Recipe for "Meatballs and Tomato Sauce"
This classic dish is perfect for a family dinner or a gathering with friends. So let's dive right in and learn how to create this Italian masterpiece!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 350 kcal


  • Mixing Bowl
  • Whisk or fork
  • Large skillet or saucepan
  • Baking sheet
  • Aluminum foil or parchment paper
  • Immersion blender or food processor (optional)


To make approximately 20 meatballs you will need:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Ingredients for a Rich and Tangy Homemade Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 can 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Instructions to make the meatballs

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, milk, egg, garlic, oregano, salt, and black pepper.
  • Using your hands, gently mix the ingredients until well combined. Be careful not to overmix, as it can result in tough meatballs.
  • Shape the mixture into round meatballs, approximately 1.5 inches in diameter. You can use a cookie scoop or slightly damp hands to make the process easier.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, carefully place the meatballs in the skillet, leaving some space between each meatball.
  • Cook the meatballs for about 8-10 minutes, turning them occasionally to ensure even browning. You want them to be nicely browned on all sides but still slightly pink in the center.
  • Once cooked, remove the meatballs from the skillet and set them aside on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

Instructions to make the tomato sauce

  • In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and chopped onion, and saut√© until they become fragrant and lightly golden.
  • Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, dried basil, dried oregano, sugar, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine all the flavors.
  • Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Allow the sauce to gently simmer for at least 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Once the sauce has thickened and the flavors have melded together, remove it from the heat.

Bringing It All Together: The Perfect Union

  • Now that you have your succulent meatballs and tantalizing tomato sauce, it’s time to assemble the dish.
  • Gently place the cooked meatballs into the tomato sauce, ensuring they are fully submerged. Give the sauce a gentle stir to coat the meatballs evenly.
  • Return the saucepan to low heat and allow the meatballs to simmer in the sauce for an additional 10-15 minutes. This step allows the flavors to meld further and infuse the meat with the rich tomato goodness.
  • Once heated through, your meatballs and tomato sauce are ready to be enjoyed. Serve them over your favorite pasta, such as spaghetti or penne, or alongside some crusty Italian bread.


Nutritional Facts

Here’s a breakdown of the nutritional information per serving:
  • Calories: 350
  • Fat: 15g
  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbohydrates: 25g
  • Fiber: 4g
Congratulations! You now have the complete recipe to make delicious Italian-style meatballs and tomato sauce.
With the right ingredients, tips, and wine pairing, you can create a memorable dining experience for your family and friends.
So put on your apron, grab your ingredients, and get ready to impress everyone with your culinary skills. Buon appetito!
Keyword Meataballa, meatballs, tomato

Wine Pairing Recommendation

No Italian meal is complete without a great wine pairing. For your “Meataballa” and Tomato Sauce, I recommend pairing it with a medium-bodied red wine, such as Chianti or Barbera.
The fruity notes and moderate acidity of these wines complement the richness of the dish perfectly.

Tips for the Perfect Meatballs and Tomato Sauce

Now, let me share some tips to help you achieve perfectly tender meatballs and a rich tomato sauce:

  • Use a mixture of ground beef and ground pork for the best flavor and texture.
  • Gently mix the ingredients for the meatballs with your hands, being careful not to overwork the mixture.
  • Wet your hands with water before shaping the meatballs to prevent them from sticking.
  • Brown the meatballs in a skillet before simmering them in the tomato sauce to give them a rich, caramelized flavor.
  • Use high-quality canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes for the sauce. San Marzano tomatoes are particularly delicious.
  • If you prefer a smoother sauce, you can use an immersion blender or food processor to blend the tomato sauce.


Can I use different types of meat for the meatballs?

Absolutely! You can experiment with different combinations of ground meats like veal, turkey, or even lamb to personalize the flavor of your meatballs.

Can I make the meatballs ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the meatballs in advance and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before cooking.

How long can I store the leftover meatballs and tomato sauce?

Leftover meatballs and tomato sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. They can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Can I serve the meatballs and tomato sauce with pasta?

Yes, absolutely! This dish pairs wonderfully with pasta of your choice. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions and toss it with the tomato sauce before serving.

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