Simple Italian Meatballs and Red Sauce

Simple Italian Meatballs and Red Sauce is so easy and delicious, it will make you want to throw those frozen meatballs and jar sauce  in the garbage bin. Combining these easy ingredients of San Marzano crushed tomatoes, Cento brand diced tomatoes, Spanish onion, fresh minced garlic, grated carrot, fresh basil, oregano and thyme for the perfect Simple red sauce with delicious homemade meatballs every time.

So many families these days rely on jarred sauce and frozen meatballs for one reason, they think it takes a day to make the sauce, really that’s a myth that all Italian people simmer sauce on a stove for hours on end to make the perfect sauce. You can if you want, however, it’s not really doing much except beating a dead horse.

Italian Meatballs and Red Sauce RecipeI love this version of our family sauce and homemade meatballs, the reason being is there is no unnecessary step of frying or baking the meatballs before placing them in the red sauce. Once your Red Sauce has simmered for about 15 minutes you can toss the meatballs in and cook on very low heat for about 35-45 minutes and have the most flavorful, tender,delicious meatballs you’ll ever eat.

Below you’ll find my families recipe and shortcuts used to make the most simple and delicious  Italian Meatballs and Red Sauce you have tried in years. The ingredients are fairly simple to find in your local market or Italian Speciality stores located near you.

Italian Red Sauce 

  • 1 tablespoon authentic olive oil
  • 1 medium Spanish onion diced
  • 1 medium carrot grated
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2- 28-ounce cans of San Marzano crushed tomatoes
  • 1- 14-ounce can of Cento diced tomatoes
  • 8 fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • dash of pepper flakes
  • kosher salt to taste
  • fresh ground pepper to taste


  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • 1/2 of a pound ground pork or Italian sausage
  • 1/3 of a cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/2 of a cup of Romano cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1/4 of teaspoon dried oregano
  • kosher salt to own taste
  • fresh ground pepper to own taste


  1. In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced Spanish onions, minced garlic, and grated carrot, cook until the onions are soft and light golden brown, about 7 to 9 minutes.
  2. Add San Marzano crushed tomatoes, Cento diced tomatoes, chopped fresh basil leaves, dried oregano, dried thyme, a dash of pepper flakes, kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to your own taste.
  3. Lower the heat to the 3-quart sauce pan and simmer for about 15 minutes before adding the meatballs.
  4. In a large heavy-duty food processor place 1 large egg, ground beef, ground pork, bread crumbs, Romano cheese, dried basil, dried oregano, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper to own taste. Pulse food processor 3-4 times, then turn on low-speed to combine ingredients completely – (about 45 seconds)
  5. Form meatballs to the desired size by rolling in palms till a round ball has formed (depending on your desired size of the meatball, will depend on the number of meatballs, I made about 16 when I made our meatballs today.
  6. Stir sauce well, place raw meatballs in simmering sauce, cook for about 30-45 minutes on low; or till desired thickness is reached and meatballs are completely cooked through. Do not stir the sauce for the first 10 minutes, reduce heat if needed, then stir very gently.

© Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


3 thoughts on “Simple Italian Meatballs and Red Sauce

  1. Sarah's Attic of Treasures (Includes Stories From Our Neck Of The Woods) says:

    Reblogged this on Sarah's Attic Of Treasures (Will Include Posts From Our Neck Of The Woods) and commented:
    I actually made homemade spaghetti meat and tomato sauce from scratch a few days ago. It was really good. I usually buy a jar of sauce that we like and then add it to my homemade sauce for added tomato sauce..
    I use to make the noodles but I stopped that years ago.
    Check out Heidy’s Recipe. It really is easy. Add the hamburger to the sauce if you don’t want to make meat balls. Danny just breaks the meatballs down into pieces so I don’t make meatballs very often.

    Liked by 1 person

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