This is the pasta sauce I grew up with. I have never had better and I get compliments on it every time.

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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a large bowl, combine ground beef, egg, Romano cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, salt, pepper, and water. Mix until well blended. Roll meat mixture into balls about 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch in diameter. Set aside.

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  • Place the pork ribs in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large stock pot. In the same skillet, cook the sausage until browned. Add to stock pot.

  • Fill the skillet with a mix of olive oil and vegetable oil to a level about 1 to 2 inches up the side of the pan. Heat over medium-high heat and place meatballs into the oil. Do not attempt to turn the meatballs until they release from the bottom of the pan. You want a nice crusty meatball. Once meatballs are done, add them to the stockpot, too. Pour 4 quarts of tomato puree into the stockpot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and allow to simmer.

  • Drain most of the oil out of the skillet, but leaving enough to fry the onion. Heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking and stirring until the onion is very tender and dark brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Stir in the can of tomato paste along with 3/4 cup of water, and the final quart of tomato puree into the skillet. Let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, then pour the sauce into stockpot. Simmer until the meats are tender, 1 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Editor's Note

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and the specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts

296.5 calories; 19.3 g protein; 8.6 g carbohydrates; 78.3 mg cholesterol; 528.8 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (9)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
08/31/2011
Hi I am the orginal poster of this recipe. Thanks for all the great reviews!! I just read the recipe over and I noticed a few glaring mistakes!! Please disregard all cooking times listed!!! If you actually cooked the onions for 20 minutes they would be little bits of carbon! cook the meatballs sausage and pork until they are good and crusty the onions until they nicely browned and the whole thing until it tastes good. The longer it simmers the more flavor the meat will impart to the sauce. But please bear in mind that if it simmers too long the meat WILL fall apart. Especiall the meatballs. It is also a good idea to remove the meat after the sauce is done as the acids from the tomatoes will also cause the meatballs to disintegrate if left long enough. I learned this the hard way! My Grandma failed to mention that part! Read More
(26)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
06/07/2016
Even though my photo shows the entire recipe I am reviewing the meatball portion only. The meatballs are fairly good but would be so much better with some fresh minced garlic. I attempted to make the entire recipe but when I got to the part where I was to cook the onions the oil didn't look appetizing. Since I had already browned all of the meat I decided to quickly saute chopped onion and garlic and proceed from there. I think that the entire recipe would benefit from basil oregano red pepper flakes and a splash of red wine. Read More
11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 9
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
08/31/2011
Hi I am the orginal poster of this recipe. Thanks for all the great reviews!! I just read the recipe over and I noticed a few glaring mistakes!! Please disregard all cooking times listed!!! If you actually cooked the onions for 20 minutes they would be little bits of carbon! cook the meatballs sausage and pork until they are good and crusty the onions until they nicely browned and the whole thing until it tastes good. The longer it simmers the more flavor the meat will impart to the sauce. But please bear in mind that if it simmers too long the meat WILL fall apart. Especiall the meatballs. It is also a good idea to remove the meat after the sauce is done as the acids from the tomatoes will also cause the meatballs to disintegrate if left long enough. I learned this the hard way! My Grandma failed to mention that part! Read More
(26)
Rating: 5 stars
08/31/2011
Hi I am the orginal poster of this recipe. Thanks for all the great reviews!! I just read the recipe over and I noticed a few glaring mistakes!! Please disregard all cooking times listed!!! If you actually cooked the onions for 20 minutes they would be little bits of carbon! cook the meatballs sausage and pork until they are good and crusty the onions until they nicely browned and the whole thing until it tastes good. The longer it simmers the more flavor the meat will impart to the sauce. But please bear in mind that if it simmers too long the meat WILL fall apart. Especiall the meatballs. It is also a good idea to remove the meat after the sauce is done as the acids from the tomatoes will also cause the meatballs to disintegrate if left long enough. I learned this the hard way! My Grandma failed to mention that part! Read More
(26)
Rating: 5 stars
03/07/2011
Thank you Vincenza! Your recipe made an 80 yo Italian gent very happy! My dad is very picky and loved it! I followed the recipe almost to the tee but did add garlic to the meatballs and a little to the sauce itself. Here's a hint for the meatballs: rub olive oil over your hands while you're rolling them. They stay so much nicer when you're cooking them and don't come apart this way. This was a wonderful recipe! Read More
(23)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/11/2011
Excellent!! Please remember to throw in some red wine and chopped garlic with some Italian parsley about half an hour before sauce is finished. Then cool/and or re-heat the next day. You can "eyeball" a lot of this...fresh basil is best and again left until the last 30 minutes. Read More
(22)
Rating: 5 stars
05/09/2011
Found this recipe while looking for meatball recipes. Gave this one a shot and WOW! I only used the meatball recipe part and followed it to the letter (with the exception of not having Romano so I used fresh grated Parmesan cheese AND I used panko bread crumbs) and they turned out amazing. I rolled them in small 1" sized balls. Make sure you follow the instructions written when cooking. Let them fry in the oil long enough to release themself from the bottom of the skillet. They will tell you when it's time to be turned. I found that a few needed some gentle nudging but for the most part all released themselves on their own and you just stir them around from there. Excellent meatballs...thank you for sharing this recipe. Read More
(12)
Rating: 5 stars
12/06/2011
would have to say one of the best meatballs i've ever had. Grew up with The Todaro's with their party center in the "Valley". Gonna have to show off with this one! - Akron OH Read More
(6)
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Rating: 5 stars
04/24/2013
I love this recipe!!! It was so delicious! I put some in the freezer and my husband and I ate a few more times on it. I will definitely be cooking this again. (Love the pork added to it makes a huge difference!) Thanks for the recipe!! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
02/16/2014
The best sauce we've ever made...hands down! It takes some work but cooking is sharing and showing love and this recipe is worth every bit of effort. It is key to make the meatballs as written...let them get the crust. The beauty of this recipe is that it feeds a crowd or a family of four for several meals-and they don't complain at all! Read More
(1)
Rating: 4 stars
09/30/2014
Want to try it......sounds great. The photo is a bit sketchy looks like a nice chocolate pound cake. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
06/07/2016
Even though my photo shows the entire recipe I am reviewing the meatball portion only. The meatballs are fairly good but would be so much better with some fresh minced garlic. I attempted to make the entire recipe but when I got to the part where I was to cook the onions the oil didn't look appetizing. Since I had already browned all of the meat I decided to quickly saute chopped onion and garlic and proceed from there. I think that the entire recipe would benefit from basil oregano red pepper flakes and a splash of red wine. Read More