These homemade meatballs in marinara sauce take a little effort, but are incredible. I make this large batch, and freeze leftovers for future use, but the recipe halves easily if you want to make less.
1 pound ground chuck
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground veal (use 1 /12 pounds each of beef and pork if veal isn’t available)
4 beaten eggs
3 large cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped (only use fresh)
3 t salt
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (not the stuff in the green can)
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs, unseasoned
1/2 C fresh basil, thinly sliced
1/2 C olive oil
4 32oz cans of premium canned tomatoes (look for a brand that has no added salt or citric acid)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c thinly sliced fresh basil
3 cloves finely chopped fresh garlic
3 t salt (or more, to taste)
In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except for olive oil. Mix until just incorporated–do not over mix the meat mixture or the meatballs will be tough. Form meat mixture into balls that are 2″ in diameter, or slightly large if you wish. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or electric fryer to a medium high heat. Brown the meatballs in batches, on all sides. Place them in a large dutch oven as they are browned (they will not be cooked through yet). If using a large electric skillet, you can leave them in there. When all of the meatballs are browned and in the dutch oven, mix together all of the sauce ingredients and pour over the meatballs. Cook over medium low heat or in a 250* oven for 3 hours (stir periodically if cooking on the stovetop).
The long, slow cooking is integral to this recipe. It allows the juices from the meat to cook into the sauce, and for the sugars in the tomatoes to carmelize a bit, increasing the sweetness of the sauce. If you cook them hotter and faster, then results will NOT be the same. Serve over cooked spaghetti, or your favorite pasta.
Serves an army, or a hungry family of twelve.