Rocco’s Mama inspires us. She spends endless hours rolling meatballs in her son ’s restaurant basement, which made us wonder what it would take to persuade our own talented Mom to move from matzo balls to meatballs. Mom…you ok down there?
1 medium white onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
3 (28oz/796ml) cans diced tomatoes
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
3 tbsp sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups soft breadcrumbs (5 pieces of white bread, crusts removed, pulsed in food processor until crumbs)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 lbs lean ground beef
1) For the sauce, in a large soup pot, combine onion, garlic and olive oil over medium-low heat and stir often until onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, wine, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from stove and using a hand held or countertop blender, puree sauce to desired consistency. Stir in basil and sugar. Cover and return to medium-low heat, cooking 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
2) For the meatballs, preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray.
3) In a large bowl, combine eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Add ground beef, mixing to combine.
4) Shape meat mixture into approximately 50 meatballs and place on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes total, turning the meatballs at the 10-minute mark. Remove from oven and place meatballs on paper towel to drain off any excess fat. Place meatballs in marinara sauce and serve with cooked pasta.