Meatballs with Roasted Tomato Sauce

This tomato sauce is by far one of my favourite things to come out of my kitchen. And the meatballs were an incredible carrier of the sauce. The quality of the meat and canned tomatoes are the kicker here. Be sure to use your best to create your best.


Meatballs with Roasted Tomato Sauce

Yield; 12 meatballs, 3 cups tomato sauce


For roasted tomato sauce:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 oz. gin 
  • 2 Tbsp San Marzano tomato paste
  • 1 can whole San Marzano plum tomatoes – drain & reserve the liquid
  • S&P
  • Chopped fresh herbs, approximately 2 – 3 Tbsp

For meatballs:

  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork 
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp fresh herbs, basil/thyme/rosemary
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices fresh whole wheat French loaf – soaked in 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs – soaked in 1/4 cup skim milk


Preheat oven to 375F. 

In a large sauteuse with a tight fitting lid, heat 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic, and sweat until translucent and fragrant. Toss in the dried thyme and red pepper flakes – combine together. Add in the gin, and let reduce. 

Add in the tomato paste, and combine. Once the tomato paste has melted in with the onions and garlic mixture, start squeezing the plum tomatoes into the pan. Combine and season with coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Top with the lid, and slide into the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes. 

Remove from the oven and adjust the consistency with the reserve tomato juice from the plum tomatoes. Adjust the seasoning and serve over pasta or with meatballs – your options are endless. 

For the meatballs; preheat the oven to 400F. 

In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Season with S&P – approximately 2 good pinches of salt, and a couple teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper. I like to cook up a tester piece to make sure the seasoning is correct – just toss a couple of teaspoons of meat mixture into a frying pan and cook until no longer pink. Taste. If it needs more salt and pepper, add it before forming the meatballs. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form the meatballs – approximately 2 oz.. or just larger than a golf ball size. Place onto the prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes. 

Serve with roasted tomato sauce, a good bottle of Bordeaux, and / or an oversized Negroni. 




Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *