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pasta with meatballs
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5 from 1 vote

Sauce for Pasta with Meatballs and Italian sausage

This Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs and Italian sausage is a meat lover delight. It is also delicious on other types of pasta. Great on ziti, penne, bowties, and screws. This recipe makes enough for 2 lbs of pasta.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8
Calories: 722kcal


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  • large kettle (6 quart)


  • 2 quarts tomato sauce home-jarred is best. Purchase two 28 ounce cans if you don't have home-jarred.
  • 2 quarts whole tomatoes home-jarred stewed tomatoes are best. Purchase two 28 ounce cans of whole plum tomatoes if you don't have home-jarred.
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 veal neck bone
  • 8 cloves garlic chopped
  • ½ cup red wine merlot or malbec
  • 1 tbsp basil minced fresh
  • 1 tbsp oregano minced fresh
  • 1 tsp marjoram minced fresh
  • 1 tsp thyme minced fresh
  • 1 tbsp Italian parsley minced fresh


  • 1 lb ground beef 85% lean
  • 2 eggs add 3 eggs if ground beef is more than 85% lean
  • ¾ cup bread crumbs moistened with the milk. About 80% of the crumbs should be moistened
  • cup milk
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp salt

Italian Sausage

  • 8 Italian sausages spicy or sweet


  • To adjust the portions, click on the number of serving and a slider will pop up. Adjusting the slider up or down will automatically recalculate and adjust the amount of each ingredient for you.

Tomato Sauce

  • Blend the whole tomatoes in a blender and add to a large kettle. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients, stir well to mix.
    making pasta sauce
  • Add the browned Italian Sausage.
    Browned Italian Sausage in fry pan
  • Simmer for 2 hours stirring occasionally
    Marinara Sauce
  • At the end of the first hour add the meatballs and simmer for the second hour.
    meatballs in sauce
  • At the end of two hours, increase the heat to bring the sauce to an almost boil. Add salt to taste and adjust acidity by adding up to 2 tbsp sugar. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the starchy pasta water to thin to a good consistency. Serve over the pasta of your choice.
    Tomato pasta sauce with meatballs and sausage

Italian Sausage

  • Cut small slits in the side of the sausage links and place sausage in a frying pan with ¼ inch of water.
    Boiling Italian Sausage
  • Bring water to boil and cook the sausage in boiling water until water has evaporated.
  • Once water is all evaporated, add 1 tsp oil to the pan and fry sausage until browned on all sides.
    Browned Italian Sausage in fry pan
  • Add sausage to the tomato sauce.


  • Place ground hamburger in a bowl and add all of the other ingredients.
    Meatball ingredients in a bowl
  • Mix well. Form meatballs with a cookie scoop or your hands moistened with a little water to keep the meat from sticking to your fingers.
    Uncooked meatballs on a baking sheet
  • Place the meatballs on a parchment covered cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes, then add to the sauce at the end of the first hour of cooking.
  • Makes about 18 meatballs
    baked meatballs


substitute 3 tbsp. dried Italian Seasoning for the fresh herbs in the tomato sauce.  Or substitute fresh herbs for the dried Italian seasoning in the meatballs. 
A serving includes 2 meatballs and 1 Italian sausage in addition to 1 cup of sauce. 
Read the blog for instructions on how have fresh-frozen herbs all year long and how to make your own jarred pasta.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 722kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 188mg | Sodium: 2357mg | Potassium: 1883mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 3140IU | Vitamin C: 52mg | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 7mg