Mom's Meatballs & Marinara Sauce

I'll never forget the day that I bonded with my husband's friend Kaz.  It was back when we were living in the Dogpatch in our random apartment on Minnesota Street with our other roommates, Scott & James.  

The boys decided they wanted to throw and epic party and invited a ton of people.  At first they wanted to just buy like 5 Costco pizzas and that was it, but I knew better as a well-seasoned hostess and party-planner, so I went and got all the supplies to cook up a feast for the party. 

I recently purchased a cook book from Giada de Laurentiis and saw discovered a fried chicken recipe that was great for groups.  

I thought, easy enough! Unfortunately, I had never deep fried anything myself at this point in my life and had no idea what I was doing.  Thankfully, Kaz showed up and taught me how to properly fry chicken.  

Since then, I've been bugging him to teach me how to cook something, so he decided to pay homage to his first cooking teacher: his Mom, Lisa

Kaz & his Mom, Lisa 

Kaz & his Mom, Lisa 

This recipe came from my mom, Lisa, who got it from her mom, Angela, who got it from her mom, etc...
Growing up in an Italian household we would eat a lot of pasta and my mom would make sauce once every month or two and have it on hand. With no daughters to pass on the recipe to, my mother taught me how to make the sauce. We still have it every time I head home to Boston for anything and on all major holidays.

Scroll down for instruction & demo videos!

Marinara Sauce + Sofreeta


Big Sauce Pot
Frying Pan
Cheese Grater
Big mixing bowl
Baking trays

4-5 cans of Italian tomatoes
½ can (small) tomato paste
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper
1 really big green Pepper
1 really big yellow onion
6-8 cloves garlic
1 carrot
¼ c. olive oil

3-4 lbs. ground beef
For every lb. of beef add two eggs
For every lb. of beef add a good heaping handful of breadcrumbs
For every lb. of beef add a good heaping handful of grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb bag of shredded cheddar or Monterrey Jack Cheese
6 cloves or so pressed garlic
1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
Salt and Pepper
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes


Sauce Prep: Puree Cans of tomatoes in a blender.  Then combine with tomato paste, baking soda, pepper flakes and salt and pepper in a massive pot.  Start cooking tomatoes over medium heat. 

Sufreeta: Puree onion, pepper, garlic, carrot and olive oil.  Cook in frying pan for 20 minutes stirring frequently to not burn garlic. Add Sufreeta to pureed tomatoes in pot.

Simmer Sauce for 2 hours. 


Combine beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese, pressed garlic, garlic powder, S/P, and Red pepper flakes in a bowl.  Roll into meatballs.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350.  Drain on paper towels and add to Sauce.

Cook any type of pasta al dente per instructions on packaging.  Add two (2) to three (3) meatballs on top and put as much sauce as you would like on top.  Finish off with parmesean and fresh basil.