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.
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.
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.
Use sauce for pasta, lasagna, ravioli, or freeze for later use.
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
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 can tomato puree
- 1 can each water
- 1 basil leaf
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
I love stuffed mushrooms. There are so many different types of stuffed mushrooms, but I really prefer this recipe because (1) I almost always have all of the ingredients on hand, and (2) the stuffing is light, fresh and isn’t too rich if you want to eat a handful of them. They are a perfect year-round appetizer and only take about 20 minutes to make. All you need are mushroom caps (any type of mushroom you prefer), fresh parsley, garlic, olives, red pepper flakes, and canola oil.
Clean the mushrooms using a damp paper towel and pull out the stems, ensuring not to break the cap of the mushroom. From there, I like to make the work really easy and throw the parsley, olives, and garlic into a small food processor and pulse until finely chopped. In a small bowl, combine the mixture from the food processor and plain bread crumbs. Slowly add in canola oil until the mixture begins to stick together.
Stuff each mushroom cap with the mixture and place onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes (cooking time may vary depending upon the size of the mushrooms).
Simple Stuffed Mushrooms
- Mushroom caps, 1 package
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 2 garlic cloves
- Olives, to taste
- 1/2 TBSP red pepper flakes
- 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel and remove stems. In a small food processor, combine parsley, olives, and garlic cloves. Pulse until well blended.
- In a small bowl, combine the mixture from the food processor, red pepper flakes, and breadcrumbs. Slowly add the canola oil until the mixture begins to stick together. Fill each mushroom cap with the breadcrumb stuffing.
- Place stuffed mushrooms on a greased baking sheet and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Bruschetta is best in the summer when you can use fresh tomatoes and basil. But on a night like tonight, where it is a chilling 12 degrees outside, it’s nice to make something that tastes like summer. This is always a big hit as an appetizer because it is quick an easy to make and so fresh and tasty.
I prefer to use a French loaf because the slices are small and perfect for an appetizer, but really any type of bread can be used. The same goes for tomatoes. I love the size and sweetness of the cherry tomatoes. You also want to make sure to use a good olive oil because the flavor will be front and center on this dish!
Slice the loaf of bread (one loaf should get you about 15 pieces) and toast in the oven for about 5 minutes. The bread should be crispy with a light golden brown color. While the bread is toasting, quarter the tomatoes, chop the basil, and peel 1-2 cloves of garlic.
Once the bread is finished toasting, the bruschetta is ready to be assembled. Take a garlic clove and rub it onto each slice of toasted bread. Next, press the tomato slices into each slice. Top with a little bit of salt, a generous amount of olive oil, and sprinkle with basil. Enjoy quickly – they won’t last long!
- 1 loaf of French bread
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- Cherry tomatoes (approximately 25)
- Olive Oil
- Slice the bread into about 15 pieces and toast in the oven until golden brown, about 5 minutes. While the bread is toasting, quarter the tomatoes, chop the basil, and peel the garlic cloves.
- Rub each slice of bread with a garlic clove. Press the cherry tomatoes into the bread, sprinkle with salt, generously top with olive oil and basil.