ITALIAN SAUSAGE MEATBALL with tomato sauce and basil leaves
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
In Italy, meatballs are a classic Monday dish. In fact, originally the meatballs were made with the leftovers of the meat used for Sunday’s broth. Nowadays, meatballs are no longer made just to avoid throwing out leftover food, and we prepare them in many ways: with vegetables (eggplant is an excellent choice), meat (veal, beef or pork) or fish (especially cod and shrimp). Usually the balled mixture is fried and then simmered, although at times they area perfect street food, just fried and eaten on the go. Today we are going to prepare sausage meatballs, topped with a sauce made of tomatoes and fresh basil, without frying them so they are lighter. Given that the meat is very savory, I don’t add salt to either the sauce or the meatballs, and they are still very tasty. Your only regret will be not having prepared a few more!
  • 11/8 lb (500gr) sweet sausage bulk
  • 1¾ lb (800 gr) whole peeled tomatoes
  • 5 oz (150 gr) white onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 egg
  • 3 oz (90 gr) Tuscan ciabatta bread
  • 3 tablespoon Tuscan pecorino
  • 3 tablespoon parmigiano reggiano
  • 1 tablespoon double concentrated tomato paste
  • 4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½cup (350 gr) whole milk
  • 5 basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 cup (100 gr) cornstach
  1. Italian sausage meatballs with tomato and basil sauce
  2. FIRST STEPS - Soak the diced bread in the warm milk until it is completely softened. Meanwhile, coarsely cut the onion, crush the garlic, then saute in 4 tablespoons of olive oil and paprika in a thick-bottomed pan until them are soft and translucent. When the bread is soft, squeeze it tightly then add it to the sausage that has been removed from its casing, the egg and grated cheese. Work the mixture with your hands until all ingredients are well amalgamated, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
  3. TOMATO SAUCE - When the onion and garlic are ready, add the triple concentrated tomato paste; stir with a wooden spoon and cook for a couple more minutes, then add the tomatoes and the basil leaves broken into pieces. Continue cooking over medium heat, crushing the tomatoes with a spoon, then lower the heat, cover the pan and cook for about 20 min. After cooking, put the sauce through a food mill and keep it warm.
  4. POLPETTE! - Form the meat mixture into balls of about 25 grams and roll them in the cornstarch, shaking to remove any excess, then set them in the sauce (be gentle at this stage, in order not to break the meatballs). After adding all the meatballs, shake the pan until they are completely covered with the sauce, then cook at very low heat with the lid on, for about 50 min.
  5. SOME MORE ADVICE - To avoid burning the meatballs during cooking, use a saucepan with a thick bottom, or a non-stick frying pan. Make sure that the cover never touches the meat. keep the flame adjusted to the minimum to ensure that the meatballs are cooked slowly and uniformly. In my opinion, the salt content in the sausage will be enough to flavor the dish; if you really want to add more salt, do it only when cooking is almost complete, after tasting the sauce. Remember that meatballs are good to eat right away, but they are at their best the next day!
Recipe by philosokitchen at