Meatballs & Marinara Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Serves: little over a dozen meatballs and pot of sauce
Make dinner Italian one night this week with homemade and flavorful meatballs and a tangy marinara, that is very simple and healthy too! Serve over pasta or eat meatballs and sauce solo.
What to get:
For the Marinara Sauce:
  • 2, 28oz cans San Marzano tomatoes (peeled, I like Cento brand)
  • 1 sweet white onion (small, chopped)
  • ¼ cup fresh carrot (grated or finely chopped)
  • 5 cloves garlic (peeled, chopped)
  • ¼ tsp anchovy paste
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ tsp groung black pepper
  • ¼ tsp sea salt (more as desired, but meatballs have salt too)
  • dash dried oregano
  • dash dried thyme leaves
  • 2 leaves fresh basil, chopped
For the Meatballs:
  • 1 lb ground pork (I use 95/5 % fat)
  • 1 lb ground beef (I use 80/20%, organic)
  • 1 sweet white onion (small, chopped finely)
  • 5 cloves garlic (peeled & minced)
  • ¼ cup shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 2 large basil leaves (finely chopped)
  • 1 egg
  • 1T Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2T butter (to coat pan to cook meatballs)
  • Pasta of choice, (cooked & drained, I prefer Capellini)
What to do:
Make Meatball Mix (then start sauce):
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine: ground meats, diced onion, minced garlic, shredded cheese, Worcestershire, S&P, basil, egg, and bread crumbs, until well combined.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. By rolling mix firmly with hands, form ~2 inch meatballs until all of mix is gone, set aside on wax paper or surface that can be disinfected (until ready to brown in skillet then bake).
  4. Preheat large skillet and heat butter to coat pan, brown meatballs in batches (don't crowd them), on all sides for ~10 mins, once batches are browned transfer to large foil-lined, baking sheet.
  5. Once all meatballs are browned & on baking sheet, place in preheated 350 degree oven to finish cooking, ~20 minutes (until cooked through), while they bake, start marinara).
Make Marinara on Stove (while meatballs finish baking):
  1. In large, enameled cast iron pot (or similar, Dutch Oven), preheat ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and sauté the grated carrots for about 10 minutes to soften, then adding the onion, garlic salt, pepper and ¼ cup wine stirring occasionally until onions are translucent (~5 -8 more mins).
  2. To the sautéed mix add contents of the 2 cans of tomatoes, crushing each tomato with hands, as you add them (add all remaining juices in cans to pot as well).
  3. Simmer sauce on medium-low uncovered, and add anchovy paste, basil, thyme & oregano.
  4. Simmer partially covered on low (very low if sauce starts to 'pop') for at least ½ hour.
  5. Swerve sauce over meatballs and pasta of choice, this case angel hair!
  6. Garnish with fresh basil & grated parmesan cheese as desired!
You can make the meatballs ahead, for a quicker weeknight meal. This makes more meatball servings than sauce servings, so easily double sauce & store for week, or freeze! This makes for excellent leftover meatball sandwiches too! Use some crushed red pepper in the marinara as desired. Sometimes I add and other times not. Add additional salt to your preference, but the meatballs have salt already and our anchovy paste is inherently salty, so I don't add much to sauce.
Recipe by the dinnervine at