Meatballs in tomato sauce are classic Italian-American food, though don’t expect to find the dish in Italy. There, polpettes are a smaller version of meatballs, served plain or in broth. Meatballs and sauce commonly top pasta in America, as lovers of spaghetti and meatballs well know. The dish is believed to have originated with Italian immigrants in the early 20th century. Nearly every world culture has a form of meatball, which may originate with Persian kofta—minced meat mixed with rice or lentils.
Recipe Servings: 6
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder
- 1 egg, beaten
- Combine beef, breadcrumbs, parsley, Parmesan cheese, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder, and beaten egg in large bowl.
- Mix together well and shape into 12 balls. Store covered in refrigerator until needed.
- Combine the olive oil, onion and garlic in a large pan set over medium heat. Cook until onion is translucent, about 5–7 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, salt, sugar, and bay leaf.
- Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste, basil, pepper, and meatballs.
- Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
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