The recipe is huge so I cut in half. The tomato sauce is simple and yummy and I'll never make a different one ever again. The meatballs are tender and juicy. David's cousin made this recipe for us a few years ago and I was hesitant about the meatballs because they had pine nuts and raisins in them. They ended up being my favorite ever. The raisins plump up when you cook the meatballs and provide a sweet little bite that goes so great with the rest of the ingredients. This is a true winner!
Here's the ingredients for the meatballs. I mix all of this together and form balls, and then either bake them on a baking sheet until mostly cooked through or in a pan with a little oil until just browned on all sides. Then, either way I've cooked them, I put them in the sauce to finish cooking for an hour or so.
- 2 slices plain white bread, torn into large pieces (about 2 packed cups)
- 1 pound ground beef (90 percent lean, no fattier)
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 2 Tablespoons finely grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for serving
- 2 Tablespoonscup pine nuts
- 2 Tablespoons raisins
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup dried plain breadcrumbs
For the sauce:
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 6 medium garlic cloves,chopped
- 2 (28-ounce) cans high-quality whole tomatoes, I prefer CENTO brand, with juices
- 2 teaspoons salt
I always serve this with spaghetti, but it would work with any pasta, really.