Meatballs, meatballs, meatballs. Can you say that three times fast? 😉 My grandmother’s Italian meatballs were the best. I’ve not been able to recreate them since she’s passed away and I’m pretty sure I won’t find her exact recipe so I’ve been on a quest to find the “perfect” recipe.
I saw this tasty looking recipe on good old Pinterest. These meatballs are not the typical Italian ones, but I thought I’d give it a try. After all, there are lots of a fantastic meatball recipes out there and they aren’t all Italian. These meatballs are seasoned with warm spices of paprika, coriander, and cumin and baked in a tomato sauce.
Meatballs Baked In Tomato Sauce Recipe
(About 4 servings)
- 1 (28 ounce) can of crushed Basil tomatoes
- 2 (6 ounce) cans of tomato paste
- 1/2 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, divided per the directions
- 1/2 tablespoon and 1/8 teaspoon salt, divided per the directions
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large (and somewhat deep) roasting dish, combine together the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, oregano, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 tablespoon of salt. Set it aside.
- In a skillet, heat the oil on Medium heat and cook the chopped onion until slightly brown and tender.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cooked onion, ground beef, minced garlic cloves, paprika, coriander, cumin, lemon juice, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
- Roll the meat mixture into meatballs about the size of a golf ball.
- Drop the raw meatballs into the roasting dish of tomato sauce and cook in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked.
Adapted from: Simply Delicious Food
Do you fry your meatballs? My grandmother used to pan fry her meatballs and then finish cooking them in the sauce. These meatballs cook entirely in the sauce. I don’t know if one method is better than the other, although I do think it’s important that the meatballs marinate in the sauce for at least part of the process so that the meat juices flavor the sauce.
My grandmother used bread crumbs and eggs in her meatballs. I thought a binder like that was necessary to form the beef into convenient balls, but in fact it’s not. These meatballs do not contain any bread crumbs, bread chunks, or eggs. They’re sort of like mini balls of meatloaf, but drowning in an awesome sauce! This is a pretty nifty recipe for those looking for a gluten-free and dairy free meatball. 🙂 (Well, until you cover them in shredded cheese and put them on pasta anyway.)
This sauce is a lovely thick tomato based sauce. I’m still partial to my Marinara Sauce recipe and think that’s the best thing going. However, that recipe takes 90 minutes to cook and this one takes 30 minutes. Need I say more?
I served these meatballs and sauce over orzo. Of course there has to be cheese at this party so I shredded some fresh Parmesan cheese on top. I don’t think it’s possible to have too much cheese. There really are meatballs hiding under all that whiteness. 😉
I’m still searching for the perfect meatball recipe. I’m not sure if I’ll ever find it but I am sure having fun trying all these delicious recipes.
Here are some other cozy comfort food meals.