Meatballs and Tomato Sauce
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs
- one-half cup bread crumbs (I used the purchased Italian bread crumbs)
- one-half cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 T chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp. salt
- one-fourth tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Pour the extra virgin olive oil into a large baking pan (9" x 12) and use your fingers to spread it evenly on the bottom. Combine all the remaining ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until everything is combined. Roll the meat balls tightly into the size of a golf ball. Place into the pan, side by side in rows with the meatballs touching each other. Roast for 20 minutes or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165 degrees.
While the meatballs are roasting, make the Tomato Sauce
- One-fourth cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano or one-half tsp dried
- 1 T Italian seasoning
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tsp salt or to taste
- 3 T tomato paste
- 56-60 ounces of chopped plum tomatoes. I used four 14.5 oz. cans of Hunts diced tomatoes. You can use the plain ones or the ones with onions and green peppers added.
In a large fry pan or kettle, over medium heat, pour in the extra virgin olive oil. Add the onions, bay leaf, oregano, garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt, stirring often until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, mix well and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir constantly until the sauce begins to boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring often to prevent sticking. When the meatballs are done, remove them from the oven and place them in the fry pan with the meatballs or kettle to continue cooking with the sauce. Remove the bay leaf before serving over spaghetti or other pasta. Serve with a lettuce salad and garlic toast.
I use the low-carb Dreamfields brand pasta.