Copyright Thomas Saaristo  All Rights Reserved
Meatballs and red sauce
For Meatball subs or Spaghetti and meatballs


For the sauce
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
7 cloves garlic: 4 whole, 3 minced
1 28 ounce can peeled San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 28 ounce can plum tomatoes, chopped coarse
2 teaspoons sea salt, then more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, then more to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, them more to taste

For the meatballs
1/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
1/2 pound ground beef (not too lean)
1/2 pound ground pork (not too lean)
2 whole eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano, plus additional for serving
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 clove garlic, minced fine
1 large shallot, minced fine
1 cup dry bread crumbs (“Italian Style” recommended)
1/4 cup milk
1 cup safflower or canola oil, for frying

From the Pantry
4 Hoagie rolls for Meatballs subs
1 pound spaghetti for Spaghetti and meatballs


For the sauce
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the 4 whole cloves
garlic and sauté until just brown. Add the 3 minced cloves garlic and contents of both
cans of tomatoes. Season with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and red pepper
flakes; let simmer while you prepare the meatballs.

For the meatballs
Use your hands to form meatballs by mixing sausage meat with ground beef and
pork, eggs, cheese, oregano, garlic and shallot. Add bread crumbs and incorporate
fully. Add milk, drop by drop, until mixture is moist and holds together. Shape into
balls with a small ice cream scoop or measuring spoons to ensure even sizes

Heat oil in a large pot or 12 inch skillet and fry meatballs in batches, browning all sides.
Remove to paper towels or brown paper to drain

Arrange drained meatballs in sauce and simmer 20 minutes

For Meatball subs

Set oven rack to center position and heat broiler to low. Split four rolls almost in half
but not completely. Press them open, like a book, and remove the interior of the
bottom half. Paint some of the sauce across the interior of the tops and transfer the
rolls to a baking sheet. Place 4 meatballs in the well of each of the rolls. Cover the
meatballs with an equal division of 1 cup sauce and 8 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella
cheese. Place the sandwiches under the broiler until the cheese is melted and starts to
turn golden, the sauce begins to perk and the edges of the bread are toasted, 4 to 5

For Spaghetti and meatballs

Bring a large pot of water to the boil over high heat. Slowly add 1/4 cup salt followed
by the 1 pound spaghetti and give everything a big stir. Cook the pasta until al dente,
9 to 11 minutes. Drain the pasta and, using tongs, arrange nests of pasta on a large
platter. Use a large spoon to arrange a few meat balls, topped with the sauce, in each
nest. Sprinkle everything with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and minced parsley