Italian Meatballs and Tomato Gravy
1 lb. lean ground meat, chuck is
good, round or sirloin is too lean
1 medium onion, 3 or 4 toes garlic,
1/2 small green pepper(optional) all
finely chopped 2 raw eggs, about a 3
inch piece of stale french bread which
has been soaked in water and the water
crumbs, depending on the softness of the
mixture, 1/2 to 1 cup of bread crumbs to
make the mixture firm but not too firm.
Meatballs should be medium soft.
salt, pepper, chopped parsley. And if
desired about 1/2 cup grated Italian
cheese may be added to the mixture
before rolling into balls.
oil for frying meatballs.
all of the above ingredients except the
bread crumbs, cheese and olive oil in a
large bowl and mix gently but
thoroughly. Add bread crumbs to tighten
the consistency of the meat, and cheese
At this point, I like
to make a small patty and fry it to see
if it needs more salt , pepper or
breadcrumbs to keep it from breaking up
in the gravy.
Shape mixture into
10 balls, brown in a skillet in olive
oil. After browning remove to the pan in
which the gravy is to be cooked. Stir
the sauce carefully so as not to cut
into the meatballs.
one 16 oz. can
Progresso whole Italian Plum tomatoes
with puree and basil slightly chopped
one 6 oz. can tomato paste,
Progresso if possible
a couple of green
onions would be good also.
3 or 4
large cloves of garlic chopped,
to 1/2 half green pepper, chopped
1 or 2 tbs.. sugar
oregano, sweet basil and parsley
about 1/4 cup of olive oil, or more if
Fry the ingredients
for the gravy in the same skillet in
which the meatballs were fried. This
picks up all the little crisp browned
pieces of meat left from frying the
Fry onions, garlic
and green pepper in olive oil until
soft, do not let garlic burn or it will
taste bitter. Add tomato paste, oregano,
basil and sugar; fry until slightly
brown, being sure not to burn the paste;
the gravy will taste bitter. Add plum
tomatoes to the skillet, mix together
and let simmer a couple of minutes to
evaporate some of the water in the
tomatoes. Transfer this mixture to large
sauce pan. Fill the empty tomato and
tomato paste cans each twice with water
add to sauce. Salt and pepper to taste,
add the parsley. Cover sauce pan, bring
to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer
until thick or the consistency that you
You may also add a splash
of wine when adding the water.
you want to use Italian Sausages,or
chicken, you first brown these in a
skillet. After browning, place them in
the pan in which sauce is to be cooked.
Proceed as for meatballs.
will make enough gravy to serve with
about 1 lb. of spaghetti, or the pasta
of your choice. I like linguine, ziti
angel hair and sometimes shells, which
holds some of the gravy inside the