Mom’s Meatballs & Pasta Sauce

This is my mom and grandmother’s meatball and pasta sauce recipe. It’s really the only meatball and sauce recipe you need to know. The sauce is simple, flavorful, and perfect for any type of pasta you want to use it with. It’s a simple meal, but nothing tastes better than a homemade sauce.

Meatballs and Pasta Sauce

For the meatballs, mix together ground beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Roll the meat into small balls, about an inch in width (one pound of ground beef should get you about 35 meatballs). Heat oil in a large pan and fry the meatballs until they are browned on all sides, about five minutes.

Meatballs and Pasta Sauce

Remove the meatballs from the pan, reserving the liquid, and set aside. In the same pan, add tomato paste, tomato puree, 1 can water of each, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and a basil leaf. Simmer sauce for 30 minutes, add meatballs back in and simmer together for an additional hour.

Meatballs & Pasta Sauce

Use sauce for pasta, lasagna, ravioli, or freeze for later use.

Meatballs and Pasta Sauce

Meatballs and Pasta Sauce


  • 2 TBSP oil
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed parsley, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 can tomato puree
  • 1 can each water
  • 1 basil leaf
  1. Heat a large Dutch oven with oil. In a medium bowl, mix together ground beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, parsley, 3 minced garlic cloves, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Form into small ball.
  2. Place the meatballs into the Dutch oven and cook until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Reserve the liquid.
  3. Add the tomato paste, tomato puree, 1 can each water, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 basil leaf, salt and pepper to taste, to the Dutch oven. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for another hour.

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