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RECIPE: MEATBALLS IN TOMATO SAUCE

Comfort food at it's finest.  Just ONE Taste of Tuscany spice blend makes it easy to season both the sauce and the meatballs, saving you time and money. 

Classic Italian Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

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.  Just sayin…

PREP TIME:  30 min (5 for the sauce, 25 for the meatballs) 

 

STOVE TIME: 

Wonderbag Method 30 min

Conventional Method 4 hours

 

SERVES:  8 as a main (makes 70+ meatballs)

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE SAUCE

  • ½ sachet TUSCANY spice blend

  • 2- 14oz (400g) cans diced tomatoes*

  • 1- 5oz (140g) can tomato paste

  • 2 tsp salt (or to taste)

FOR THE MEATBALLS

  • 2 eggs

  • ½ cup (120 ml) milk

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (45 g)

  • ½ cup (50 g) shredded parmesan cheese

  • ½ sachet TUSCANY spice blend

  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 1 pound (or 500 g) ground beef

  • 1 pound (or 500 g) ground pork

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

CONVENTIONAL METHOD

 

Prep the Sauce First

1)  Add all of the sauce ingredients to a 3 or 4 litre pot and mix well.  Turn heat to medium-high and just when sauce starts to bubble,  reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes, while you make your meatballs.

 

Move on to the Meatballs

2)  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.

 

3)  Still using a fork, fold in the ground beef and pork and mix well.

 

4)  Using your hands, shape into 1¼ inch (3 cm) meatballs, and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet(s) or baking tray.

 

5)  Set your oven broiler/grill to high, and position the top rack so that the meatballs will be about 3 to 4 inches (10cm) from the heat source. Cook the meatballs for 3-4 minutes to set the structure of the meatballs.

 

6)  Gently fold the lightly grilled meatballs into the simmering sauce, cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so.

WONDERBAG METHOD

 

Prep the Sauce First

1)  Add all of the sauce ingredients to a 3 or 4 litre pot and mix well.  Turn heat to medium-high and just when sauce starts to bubble,  reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes, while you make your meatballs.

 

Move on to the Meatballs

2)  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.

 

3)  Still using a fork, fold in the ground beef and pork and mix well.

 

4)  Using your hands, shape into 1¼ inch (3 cm) meatballs, and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet(s) or baking tray.

 

5)  Set your oven broiler/grill to high, and position the top rack so that the meatballs will be about 3 to 4 inches (10cm) from the heat source. Cook the meatballs for 3-4 minutes to set the structure of the meatballs.

 

6)  Gently fold the lightly grilled meatballs into the simmering sauce, cover and simmer another 10 minutes.

 

7)  Seal your lidded pot in the Wonderbag and leave it to cook for 6-7 hours (best to leave it  all day, the flavours become richer the longer you leave it).

SERVING INSPIRATIONS

Salt and pepper to taste, serve over pasta...

...make meatball subs... 

... or simply in a bowl with toothpicks as a party snack.

 

Topping it with fresh basil leaves and shredded parmesan adds beauty and flavor!

Recipe & Photo Credits:  Cathy Menees

COOKS NOTES

 

TIMING:  Get your sauce going first so that it’s warmed and ready for you to add the meatballs.

 

INGREDIENTS:  *2 cans of tomatoes is enough, but if you like to have extra sauce, use 3 cans.  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.

 

KITCHEN BUDDIES:  The Wonderbag is a superstar here.  We all know that a tomato-based sauce gets better with time, so just leave it in the bag all day and go do something else!!

 

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