Monday, August 07, 2006

Italian Meatballs and Sauce



Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs or 2 slices of bread torn into small pieces
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 15oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15oz tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Dash bottled hot pepper sauce (optional)

Directions
1. Heat oven to 350 degree F. Combine egg, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of the onion, and the oregano in a large mixing bowl. Add the ground beef and mix well. Shape into 42 meatballs about 3/4-inch in diameter. Arrange in a single layer in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until no pink remains. Drain well.

2. Meanwhile, cook remaining 1/4 cup onion and the sweet pepper in hot oil in a large saucepan until vegetables are tender. Stir in tomato sauce, brown sugar, chili powder, black pepper, garlic salt, and if desired, hot pepper sauce. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add meatballs to mixture and simmer on low heat 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately. Makes 21 servings.

For a chunkier sauce add chopped vegetables of your choice. I usually use celery, carrots, mushrooms and canned stewed tomatoes.

Make-Ahead Tip: Carefully place drained meatballs in sauce. Place in shallow freezer containers. Cool slightly. Cover and freeze up to 1 month. To serve, thaw meatball mixture in refrigerator overnight. Place in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until heated through (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally. Or, to reheat in a crockery cooker, heat thawed meatballs and sauce, covered, on high heat for 2 to 2-1/2 hours

Open-Faced Meatball Sandwiches
Take meatball mixture and spoon over rolls of your choice. I add a garlic spread and a slice of choice to bread. Brown under a hot broiler. Serve and enjoy.

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