Sunday Sauce with Meatballs & Sausage

Sunday Sauce

Sauce (8 servings)
Macros per serving:  5 carbs / 8 fat / 4 protein (139 cal)

Meatballs (15 servings)
Macros per meatball: 6 carbs / 11 fat / 13 protein (176 cal)

I’ve been making this for years now. It’s a mixture of recipes I’ve tried along the way, but I’ve added my own methods as well. I am so proud of this sauce.

I used to squeeze my tomatoes by hand, which is a valiant effort, but there is an easier way. Buy a food mill. It will cut your prep time in half.

To start, you’ll need the food mill, 3 cans of whole peeled tomatoes (get a good brand), and a large bowl to catch the juice. I found the Italian style tomatoes render much more juice than the regular. Use the finest blade.


  • 3 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (use 1/8 to cut back on fat)
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • couple cranks of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (the good stuff)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can tomato paste (6 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, julienned
  • 1 pound of Italian link sausage (sweet) – optional


  • 1 lb of meatloaf mix (ground pork, veal, beef)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of seasoned Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 garlic cloves (pressed) – I use Dorot cubes
  • 2 pinches of kosher salt
  • couple cranks of freshly ground pepper

Using the food mill, extract the juice from the 3 cans of tomatoes. Pulp can be discarded. Set all the juice aside.

Start your sauce! 

In a large dutch oven (I use cast iron enamel) over medium heat, add the olive oil when the pot is hot. Add the onion, then garlic, then saute til soft – don’t let this burn or sauce may be bitter. Add the red pepper and black pepper and salt. Add in the tomato juice, red wine, water, Parmesan. (Don’t add the tomato paste yet!)

Go make your meatballs. 

Preheat the oven to 400F. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the rest of the ingredients. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (if you have it). Wetting your fingers, roll the mixture into 2-inch balls. Add them to the cookie sheet, and bake for 20 minutes. 

As soon as your meatballs are done, add them to your sauce. Cut up the sausage links into 2-inch pieces and add them straight into the sauce (uncooked). This is the secret to extremely tender sausage! Finally, add your tomato paste. Your meatballs will float. And don’t forget your wooden spoon!

Stir often, uncovered, for 2 to 3 hours over low heat. You want a steady bubble, but not too rapid. The sauce will settle, so scrape it off the bottom when stirring.

It will reduce into a delicious silky sauce, with the most tender meat EV-ER. (You can also add a pork rib at the garlic/onion stage if desired.) 

Now add your basil!

Serve over your favorite pasta. Wasn’t that worth the wait?

One Comment Add yours

  1. Brina says:

    Sunday sauce is literally my absolute favorite meal!


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