Cooking the meatballs in the tomato sauce saves time and infuses the sauce with flavor. Bonus: There's only one pot to wash!

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Tear 1 roll into pieces; pulse in a food processor until fine crumbs form. In a large bowl, toss crumbs with 1/3 cup water. Add beef, egg, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon oregano; mix just until combined. Gently form mixture into 12 meatballs.

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  • In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high; swirl to coat. Add meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 7 minutes.

  • Add crushed and whole tomatoes with juice (breaking up tomatoes), 1 teaspoon garlic, teaspoon oregano, and pinch of sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a boil; reduce to a rapid simmer and cook until meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, split 2 rolls and place, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush with 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon garlic; season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Serve meatballs with garlic bread.

Cook's Notes

To freeze: Form meatballs. Freeze on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then transfer to a resealable plastic bag and store in the freezer, up to 3 months. To serve, thaw and continue with step 2.

Reviews (20)

131 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 30
  • 4 star values: 25
  • 3 star values: 44
  • 2 star values: 26
  • 1 star values: 6
Rating: 3 stars
12/05/2017
This is just regarding the meatballs as I used store-bought sauce and pasta instead of bread. They were alright but had too much breadcrumbs, I think. They would have probably been better mixed with pork as well. I probably won’t use this recipe again.
Rating: 3 stars
02/16/2014
This recipe was just okay. My meatballs fell apart and the sauce was a little boring. The sauce needs onion and fresh basil. I think the meatballs would stay together without breadcrumbs, so I will omit next time.
Rating: Unrated
01/12/2013
MEAT BALLS
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Rating: Unrated
07/29/2012
I have noticed that the recipes are a little different from the videos too. But I always follow the video its usually much better. I think there is a different person cooking and writing the recipe. The chef in the video usually changes the recipe to do what she thinks is best. These meatballs are so moist and delicious. Love them!
Rating: Unrated
07/18/2012
the video and the written recipe seems off. she puts the meatballs directly into the sauce, but the recipe says to brown the meatballs and then add the sauce. she also doesn't put sugar into the sauce. also, this is no biggy... but the recipe doesn't mention about adding salt to the meatballs which will make it taste bland. i've been noticing a lot of Martha's written recipes and videos don't match.
Rating: Unrated
07/09/2012
Please note: It says COURSE salt - I believe that converts to 1/2 teaspoon of fine table salt.
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Rating: 5 stars
11/29/2011
My family loves this recipe as is.
Rating: Unrated
10/22/2011
I follow the recipe as written and I will make changes next time. The flavor was okay, but does need more herb flavor, try adding basil? The meatballs fell apart while cooking in sauce. Next time I will make sauce first, then cook meatballs in non stick (teflon) pan and add to sauce as they brown. This dish has potential, so I will try again.
Rating: 5 stars
09/15/2011
I make this recipe almost every other week and love it. I do change it up a bit with added crushed red peppers in the meatballs and tomato sauce. I love it spicy. I rarely measure any salt, pepper, garlic or even breadcrumbs and it always comes out great. I serve it with a side of pasta (doesn't need much). And I don't use hoagie, I use sourdough baguette for the breadsticks in my toaster oven (half of one), the other half I slice up and reserve for future breadcrumbs in the recipe.
Rating: Unrated
03/07/2011
So do we know if the meatballs are any good?
Rating: Unrated
01/30/2011
I'm sure if you watch the video, the correct amount of salt is given. But salt and pepper are almost always a 2:1 ratio. I'd say it is 1/2 a tsp.
Rating: Unrated
01/25/2011
Gosh people, stop with all the whiny comments! If you have done any cooking before, you can tell this is a typo and should read 1/2 tsp salt. It is generally a 2-1 ratio of salt to pepper. I wish the world wasn't so full of complainers and victims.
Rating: Unrated
01/22/2011
I agree 100% that the amount of salt called for in this recipe in grossly in excess of what anyone, with or without health issues should consume. Take the initiative and decrease the amount of salt (and sugar, from other recipes). Your body will thank you. I encourage everyone to get nutritional advice from a professional. Be very cautious of what you read on the internet. It's not always in your best interest.
Rating: Unrated
01/21/2011
what is the big deal about salt. If too much for you, adjust the amount but to say you will not make it, it is your loss. I think we need to think before we comment. The I will not make it was a silly reply. a more adult reply would have been, Martha please check the amount of salt. Thank you
Rating: Unrated
01/06/2011
I just finished registering so now I can comment re the above recipe. Until this is corrected regarding the amouont of salt, I will NOT do the recipe. I am sure Martha will see to it that it is corrected. Thanks Martha.
Rating: Unrated
11/30/2010
my family loves this recipe. i noticed there are questions about the salt (I also thought it was a lot). However, I made the recipe per directions and it wasn't salty.
Rating: Unrated
10/24/2010
I am sure it's 1/2 tsp of salt based on the amount of pepper suggested.
Rating: Unrated
10/13/2010
The salt was in the first paragraph of the directions. I think it must be a misprint. Even one tsp. would be to much.
Rating: Unrated
10/13/2010
I believe salt and pepper are to your taste, as there was no measurment for either of them.
Rating: Unrated
05/30/2010
Two teaspoons of salt? Is this right? It sounds like an awfully huge amount. When food is frozen the salt amount comes out twofold as well.