My mouth is watering just thinking about this. I was super excited to hit tomatoes on the re-introduction list. What more is there to say? I think everyone grew up eating some variation of this dinner. In our house, the sauce either came out of a jar or a can (Sorry Mom!) and it was one of my first foodie revelations to realize how easy it is to make tomato sauce from scratch. Well, using canned tomatoes anyway.
As for the meatballs, I used turkey instead of beef/pork, but since wheat/dairy/eggs are all okay for me, in went breadcrumbs, cheese and an egg instead of ground flax. They were incredible! One quick note – I am way too impatient to stand over a pot browning all these meatballs in hot oil. I just stick them on rack over a foil-lined baking sheet, crank the oven and toss them in for about 20 minutes while I make the sauce. They still get brown, you save yourself some fat, and you don’t have to deal with anything sticking.
- For meatballs, mix everything in a bowl and form into roughly 2″ balls. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
- For sauce, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and saute over medium heat until onion is soft, about 5-10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add the wine or broth, and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, salt and pepper, and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
- When the meatballs are done, add them to the sauce and let it finish simmering.
- Serve with your fave pasta shape and lots of freshly grated parm. YUM.