Make meatballs any day of the week with this streamlined technique by cooking the meatballs right in a simple tomato sauce. Once that's done, you can take this any direction: meatball subs, baked ziti, with sauteed spinach or make a comfort classic: spaghetti and meatballs. I like to make small meatballs so they cook quicker and we all eat less meat.
Heat the olive oil in a stockpot, add the onion and cook just until it turns translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.
Add the oregano, marjoram, salt, red pepper flakes, if using, and the tomatoes. Stir well to combine and bring to a steady simmer.
Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce to a texture you prefer. I go for slightly chunky. Taste the sauce for seasoning and continue to simmer while you make the meatballs.
Combine the garlic, egg, bread crumbs, oregano, salt and pepper with the ground beef in a mixing bowl. I used food service gloves to mix the meatballs, but you can also use bare hands or a spatula. Be sure to blend the mixture very well.
Use a tablespoon to portion small 1-ounce meatballs, roll them into balls and plop them into the simmering sauce. (For larger meatballs, simply portion to the desired size, roll them into uniform balls and drop them into the sauce.)
Continue portioning, rolling and dropping meatballs into the tomato sauce until all the mixture is used up. Gently stir the meatballs to cover them with the sauce.
Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes (larger meatballs will take up to 10 minutes longer), stirring occasionally before serving or cooling and storing for future use.
Since meatballs freeze so well I like to make a double batch of sauce and meatballs for an even easier dinner down the road.
Copyright 2021 Lynne Curry