Nana’s Sunday Spaghetti and Meatballs

Every Italian-American insists that their “Nonna” makes the best gravy (what we Italians call tomato sauce) and meatballs. Unfortunately they are all wrong because they have yet to meet my nana. At the age of 86 she can still make the best pot of gravy and meatballs this side of the Atlantic, and luckily for all of you, she’s shared that recipe with me. Nana is the only Italian on earth who doesn’t believe in garlic, so if you really want to be true to her, skip the garlic cloves in my version below. She also uses dried basil whereas I prefer fresh. I had to include her picture so you can properly imagine her stirring the sauce in her kitchen, week after week, year after year.

Tomato Sauce:
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 yellow onion, chopped
-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
-2 28 oz cans crushed tomatos
-1 small handful fresh basil
-Pinch of parsley flakes

-Sautee onion in a large pot until brown
-Spoon out the onion, leaving the flavored oil
-Blend crushed tomatoes and basil in a blender
-Mix tomatos with the oil
-Add garlic
-Add parsley, salt, and pepper to taste
-Cook for ½ hour before adding meatballs

-3 eggs
-1 lb grass-fed organic beef
-1 handful breadcrumbs
-1 small handful grated parmesean cheese (optional)

-Place eggs, meat, breadcrumbs and cheese (optional) in a large bowl
-Mix with your hands
-If meat begins to feel tough, add water
-Form meatballs with your hands (whatever size you prefer
-Here, my grandma places them directly in the sauce to cook for 1 hour
-I prefer to brown them (30 seconds on each side) and then place them in the sauce

Photo: ADz Photos

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  1. Melanzalone said:

    How much olive oil?????…how many ounces of tomatoes????….c’mon, what kind of recipe is this with no amounts???????

    3.26.12 · Reply