Hello everyone! I have feasted on many pasta dishes and meatballs. But I must say the pasta dishes next door are so good, and every time, I say to myself “I need this recipe”. In fact, my neighbor even showed up at our door a few weeks ago with a baked ziti and meatballs dish. So she came over today, and together, we made some meatballs and marinara sauce. She also gave me the secrets behind her amazing meatballs and marinara sauce, which I promptly prepared as soon as she walked out the door.
Here are a few tips that either I knew and didn’t understand or didn’t know at all!
1) The reason you leave the eggs out to reach room temperature is so that the whites will completely separate from the shell. Otherwise, they stick, and it’s tricky to get them out.
2) When forming the meatballs, continue to add water to your hands, so they don’t stick.
3) Sprinkle salt on your baking sheet instead of adding more oil or cooking spray. Keeps the meatballs from sticking, seasons the meat, and eliminates excess fat.
4) Crushed tomatoes are not the same thing as diced tomatoes (I probably should have known that but never really stopped to think about it).
5) Gluten-free? No problemo! Replace the bread crumbs in the recipe with an extra egg to bind the meat together.
Have fun making this meatballs and marinara sauce recipe!
My Neighbor’s Famous Meatballs And Marinara Sauce
TO MAKE THE MEATBALLS:
- 1 pound ground beef (minced beef) - I used 85/15 dry-aged ground beef
- ½ cup bread crumbs - I used Panko
- ½ cup parsley - roughly chopped
- ½ cup parmesan cheese - grated
- 1 medium egg
- ¼ cup water - she measured this out using the eggshells, which I thought was clever
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
TO MAKE THE MARINARA SAUCE:
- 32 ounce passata or crushed tomatoes (tomato puree with seeds removed)
- 1 small yellow onion - finely chopped
- 2 medium garlic - chopped
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 piece bay leaf (bay leaves)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (white sugar)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 1 splash olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 325°F.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, and using your hands, mix well together. Make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed. I took about 1/4 cup of the mixture and made meatballs. You can make more or less, depending on how large you want them. I churned out 9 meatballs and baked them for 25 minutes until they were nicely browned on the outside. Flip them as soon as they come out of the oven.
- In a large saucepan, heat up the olive oil on high. Add the onion/garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and allow it to simmer until most liquid has cooked off. No more than 2 hours.
- Serve with the meatballs and some delicious pasta!