Grandma's Homemade Italian Sauce and Meatballs


This recipe has been handed down for generations and is always a hit. Both the sauce and meatballs freeze well. I freeze in dinner size portions so my husband and I don't have to use the bottled sauce!

Prep Time:
1 hrs
Cook Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
9 hrs
10 servings


  • 48 ounces tomato paste

  • 12 cups water

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 5 pork chops

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 (8 ounce) package mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • ¼ pound ground pork

  • ¼ pound ground veal

  • 1 cup grated Romano cheese

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 ¼ cups dry bread crumbs

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley

  • 2 eggs


  1. In a large pot combine tomato paste, water, garlic, bay leaves, basil, and salt. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to low and simmer.

  2. In a skillet, brown pork chops in olive oil then place in sauce mixture. Saute onions and mushrooms in same pan that you browned the pork chops. Add these to sauce as well. Simmer sauce a minimum of 8 hours, stirring occasionally.

  3. To make the meatballs: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine beef, pork, veal, Romano cheese, salt, pepper, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley and eggs; mix well. Shape into balls. Place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

  4. Bake meatballs for 20 minutes. Place meatballs in a serving bowl when baking is complete and place in refrigerator. About 2 hours prior to dinnertime pop the meatballs into the sauce.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

422 Calories
18g Fat
39g Carbs
31g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 422
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 111mg 37%
Sodium 1908mg 83%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 32mg 159%
Calcium 242mg 19%
Iron 7mg 38%
Potassium 1756mg 37%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.