These Old World Italian-style meatballs are the secret family recipe of guest chef Daniel Mancini, who shared his grandmother's special recipe with us for what he calls Mama Mancini’s Meatballs with Sunday Sauce.
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 2 pounds ground beef chuck
- 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
- 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 large eggs
- To make the sauce, in a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes with liquid, the bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; mix well. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients except the 1/4 cup oil. Mix well then form into 18 meatballs.
- In a large skillet, heat the 1/4 cup oil over medium heat. Place half the meatballs in skillet and cook until browned on all sides, but not cooked through. Transfer meatballs to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Repeat with remaining meatballs.
- Place meatballs in sauce and stir gently. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, or until sauce is thickened, stirring frequently.
Makes 18 meatballs.