Meatballs for Two: The Most Beloved Italian Recipe of All Time!

Just about the most beloved Italian dish of all time by young and old! Meatballs with tomato sauce, or better known as polpette al sugo, is able to bring cherished memories to us all.

Today, you see meatballs in Italian restaurants all over the world. And many times these meatballs are seen served with spaghetti. But did you know that the traditional recipe, and what is seen in most parts of Italy itself, is meatballs served as a second course dish in tomato sauce with no pasta! I know right? Kind of changes your idea on the whole traditional spaghetti and meatballs dish.

Meatballs with tomato sauce if a great meal for any time of the year and day of the week! It’s kid proof, and a quick prep, that also makes it a staple in every Italian household.


For the meatballs:

  • 200 g Ground beef
  • 150 g Sausage
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 cup Bread crumbs
  • 1 Egg
  • Salt / Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 25 g Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped Parsley

For the tomato sauce:

  • 1 jar tomato sauce
  • 1 jar crushed tomatoes
  • Salt / Pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  1. Begin by cooking in one large pan the tomato sauce, heat pan, add olive oil, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper. Let cook down on a low flame for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check taste after 30 minutes add sugar, continue on low flame for 10 minutes. Set aside until meatballs are ready.

2. While the tomato sauce is cooking, in a small skillet, heat on medium, add 1 teaspoon olive oil, chopped onion, let cook down until transparent. Preheat oven to 180C/ 350F.

3. In a large bowl make meatball mix. Add ground beef, sausage (after removing skin), onion, salt, pepper, cheese, olive oil, parsley, egg. Mix with wooden spoon, then make into small ball shapes. In a medium bowl add bread crumbs, roll balls into bread crumbs, set on cooking sheet lined with cooking paper and a drizzle of olive oil.

4. After placing on balls on the cooking sheet put in oven. Cook for 10 minutes, check meatballs, and turn some of them, cook another 10/ 15 minutes until browned.

5. Remove from oven, add meatballs to the large pan with the tomato sauce. Serve hot!

**We suggest serving this dish as a second course option with a great bottle of Italian red wine such as Barbera d’Alba**



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