Homemade Italian Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs

Recipe Rating:
 3 Ratings
Serves: This make a lot, and enough to freeze for later.
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Cooking Method: Stove Top


****spaghetti sauce:******
olive oil (enough to just cover the bottom of the pan)
3-5 clove garlic peeled
3-4 6 oz can(s) tomato paste
2-3 28 oz can(s) tomato sauce
1-2 28oz can(s) tomato puree
1 Tbsp italian seasoning
1/2 - 1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
1-2 bay leaves
salt, to taste (the parmesean cheese at the end will add to the saltyness as well)
1 pinch sugar
1-2 large handful of parmesean cheese, at the end
********** *****meatballs:*****
2-3 lb ground sirloin
1-2 lb ground chuck
1 large onion, finely chopped
2-3 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
1/2 - 1 tsp italian seasoning
1-2 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1-2 handful of italian bread crumbs
1-2 handfuls of parmesean cheese
2-3 eggs (depends on the moisture content of the meat)

The Cook

Julia Ferguson Recipe
Well Seasoned
Greenwood, IN (pop. 49,791)
Member Since Aug 2011
Julia's notes for this recipe:
This is my family's recipe. My mother always made this for our birthday dinner. It's one of those recipes that needs to cook all day. So one of these winter days when you don't want to get out and you want something hearty and flavorful make this for your family. The aroma coming from the kitchen will keep their stomachs growling all day. But well worth the agony and wait.
My mom always served this with an Anitpasta Salad and Garlic Bread.
Make it Your Way...

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This makes a lot of sauce, so you will need a very large soup pot with a good weight to it.
Cover bottom of pan with olive oil (you want just enough to barely cover the bottom of the pan) begin to warm the oil gently.
Place peeled garlic cloves in oil, on low heat cook cloves until just starting to lightly blister. Do not let garlic brown or burn, it will give the sauce a clovey taste. Remove garlic.
Add tomato paste, one can at a time, throughly incorporating the olive oil into the tomato paste each time. I find this is easier to do with a wire wisk.
Add tomato puree mixing throughly.
Add tomato sauce and mix well.
At this point some water can be added, as the sauce will be cooking at least 6 hours and will thicken as it cooks. I wouldn't add more than 2 of the paste cans full of water. Mix well.
Add Italian seasoning, garlic powder, bay leaves and salt. Additional cloves of garlic can be added. depends on how garlicky you want the sauce.
Cover pan with lid cocked and simmer on low for at least 6 hours. Stirring occasionally, to keep sauce from sticking to bottom.
While the sauce is getting hot, mix together the meatballs, see below.
My mother used veal in her meatballs. The price of veal is so expensive I have started using ground sirloin and ground chuck. The rule of thumb here is to use 2 parts lean veal or sirloin to 1 part ground chuck.
Mix together, ground sirloin(or veal), ground chuck, finely diced onion and garlic, italian seasoning, ground black pepper, parsley, bread crumbs, parmesean cheese and eggs.
Using a spoon (I like to use my large cookie scoop) take a good amount of meat mixture and roll in the plam of your hand, forming a ball. The meatballs should hold together, and be about the size of a golfball. I like to get a plateful of meatballs made then drop them into the hot sauce, then go back and make another platefull to be dropped in the sauce. Repeat until all meatballs have been added to sauce. Gently, so as not to break up meatballs, push and stir the sauce to get the meatballs down into the sauce.
Cover with lid cocked, so steam can escape and thicken the sauce. Simmer on low on the stove top. After about 1/2 hour check the meatballs and stir carefully, making sure the meatballs do not stick.
The sauce and meatballs should cook at least 6 hours or longer if you like.
About 1 hr before serving add pinch of sugar and stir well, being careful not to breakup the meatballs. Add the parmesean cheese. Mom never stired the cheese into the sauce, she just let it melt into the sauce. Be careful after adding the sugar and cheese, as they could cause the sauce to stick on the bottom. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Serve sauce and meatballs over hot cooked pasta and a sprinkle of parmesean cheese on top.

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user Sher Bird Litehouse9 - Nov 6, 2011
Julia, how wonderful to share a treasured, tried-and-true old family recipe. I love those, and appreciate being able to have this one. My own Mom never taught me to cook, and left behind very few recipes, so I treasure ones from other people's Moms!
user Julia Ferguson judyjellybean - Nov 6, 2011
I shared a photo of this recipe. View photo
user Cin Straw's Kitchen NanatomyGrandsismyPassion - Nov 6, 2011
Thanks for sharing an old family recipe Julia.
Sounds gooood.
user Julia Ferguson judyjellybean - Nov 6, 2011
Sher and Cin, thanks for the comments. My mom didn't leave many recipes, but thank goodness I was right there taking it all in when she cooked. She didn't mind when my sisters and I got into the kitchen when she was cooking, she had us help with all the tasks, especially washing and drying the dishes when the meal was over.

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