Beef and Sausage Meatballs in Tomato Sauce are delicious and kid-friendly!
I’m going through a process of updating some of my earliest recipes with better photos and sometimes improved instructions, and when I came across this recipe for Beef and Sausage Meatballs in Tomato Sauce recently I decided it really needed a facelift. (Thankfully Blogger has now improved their system so earlier recipes can be updated without breaking the links, thank you Blogger!) Truthfully, when I first started blogging, it never occurred to me that people would be finding my earliest things more than two years later, that’s how clueless I was about the internet.
(Beef and Sausage Meatballs in Tomato Sauce was updated with better photos, October 2007.)
The recipe was adapted from one for Old Fashioned Meatballs I found on Epicurious.com, and even though I jazzed it up a little, truly it’s one of the more family-friendly recipes on my blog. The meatballs and sauce cook together in the oven, which means that the ground beef and Italian sausage flavors the basic red sauce. If you’re cooking for a family, this is something most kids will like, it’s South Beach Diet friendly if you use Turkey Sausage, lean ground beef, and 100% whole wheat bread crumbs, and there are lots of possibilities as to how to serve it.
Use a tablespoon to measure meat so you can make uniformly-sized meatballs to insure they cook evenly.
You need a pan or casserole dish large enough that the meatballs will not be completely submerged in sauce.
Beef and Sausage Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe adapted slightly from Old Fashioned Meatballs at Epicurious.com.)
1 pound ground beef, 15% fat or less
3 links hot Turkey Italian Sausage, about 12 oz. (squeeze out of casings)
1/3 cup 100% whole wheat bread crumbs
2 T flax seed meal (optional, but good)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. minced garlic,
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese,
salt-pepper to taste
Additional Parmesan for sprinkling over meatballs
2 cans diced tomatoes. pureed with food processor or immersion blender
(I used Muir Glen fire roasted organic tomatoes)
1 T minced garlic (or less, I used garlic puree in a jar)
2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
(can substitute 1 T Penzeys Pasta Sprinkle for the oregano and basil)
salt to taste (I used McCormick’s Mediterranean Sea Salt which I received as a sample, and it was great in this.)
Remove ground beef and sausage from refrigerator, squeeze sausage out of casing and let meats come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 425 F.
Put breadcrumbs (and flax seed meal if using) in large bowl and add 1/3 cup very hot water. Let sit a few minutes until water is absorbed, then add eggs, teaspoon of garlic, grated Parmesan, and salt and pepper. Add ground beef and sausage to mixture, then use your hands to combine breadcrumb mixture with meat.
Spray glass casserole dish or roasting pan with nonstick spray, then use a tablespoon to measure out meatballs, rolling them in your hands to make them round. Arrange meatballs so there is a small space between each meatball.
Use a food processor or immersion blender to puree canned tomatoes. Put tomatoes in bowl and add minced garlic, herbs, and salt. Pour sauce over meatballs. Sprinkle rest of Parmesan cheese over. Bake 35 minutes, or until firm and bubbling. Serve hot, with additional Parmesan sprinkled on top.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn’t have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.