Homemade Tomato Sauce with Organic Pasture-Raised Meatballs

What beats a plate of spaghetti and meatballs on a Sunday Evening? If I had an Italian Nonna, I think I would’ve made her proud with this one. We started watching the TV show, It’s Suppertime! on Viceland, and the pilot episode had me determined to make a homemade marinara sauce from scratch. I took quite a few of the from the show and combined them with what I knew about making homemade tomato sauce. I’ll admit, this recipe is a bit time intensive — start to finish took me about 3 hours — but the end result was more than worth it. Despite the cooking time, the preparation is rather easy and requires a short list of ingredients: vine ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and grass fed ground beef, to name a few.

Some helpful tips I learned from the TV show:

  1. heat your olive oil slowly to ensure you don’t burn your garlic and onion when you add it to the pot.
  2. Always use vine ripe tomatoes for homemade sauce.

This recipe is perfect for meal prepping, a cozy night in with your honey, or for hosting a dinner party in your home. If you’re vegetarian, the tomato sauce is plenty flavorful all on its own. Next time I make this, I am going make double so I can freeze some for future meals. I wish I was better about doing that with sauce and soup recipes. Anyway, See below for the recipe and let me know what you think!

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Homemade Tomato Sauce with Grass-Fed Meatballs

Ingredients:

For the marinara:

  • 5 vine ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced (or 2tbsp from jar)
  • 1/2 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 6 oz can of organic tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 5 large basil leaves
  • 3 cups filtered water

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup crushed almonds (optional)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • dash of sea salt

Directions:

  1. In a large sauce pan or dutch oven, slowly heat 3 tbsp of olive oil.
  2. Add minced garlic and onion and cook until fragrant.
  3. Add diced tomato, sea salt, and black pepper and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomato paste, and mix until evenly distributed.
  5. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  6. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer, add 5 whole basil leaves and let simmer for 1 hour
  7. If it looks like you sauce is losing water through steam release, Add another cup of water and let simmer for another 30-45 minutes while preparing the meatballs.
  8. For the meatballs: In a medium sized mixing bowl combine 1lb grass-fed ground beef, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 cup crushed almonds, 1egg, 1 tsp black pepper, dash of sea salt, 1 tsp garlic powder. Using your hand, blend the ingredients together well.
  9. Form the the mixture into balls of desired size. I like to make them into 2 inch sized meatballs.
  10. In a large skillet with olive oil, brown the outside of the meatballs, about 2 minutes per side.
  11. Transfer the meatballs to the sauce and let simmer for 1 hour.
  12. Serve the meatballs over your favorite pasta, on their own as an appetizer, or with veggies as a main dish.

If you give this a try, snap a pic and post it to instagram! I promise, homemade sauce it easier than you think, and yields a dish more delicious than any jarred sauce (except maybe Rao’s. haha).

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