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Meatballs and Italian Sausage Sauce Recipe

This Meatballs and Italian Sausage Sauce recipe is one of the winning entries from the Great Spaghetti Sauce recipe contest.
By Linda Ligon
December 1991/January 1992
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Try this Meatballs and Italian Sausage Sauce recipe for your next pasta dish.
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Try this Meatballs and Italian Sausage Sauce recipe with your favorite pasta for a great main dish meal.

We received a number of versions of this old-fashioned, all-day, two-meat style of sauce. Since you’re most likely to make this dish in the cold months, you might want to substitute 1 to 1 1/2 ¬≠tablespoons of dried herbs for the fresh ones listed here.

Meatballs and Italian Sausage Sauce Recipe


• 5 pounds Italian plum tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
• 1 large onion, minced
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
• 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
• 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
• 1/2 cup dry red wine
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
• 1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
• 2 bay leaves
• 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
• 6 ounces Italian tomato paste
• 6 ounces water


• 2 pounds Italian sausage, hot or sweet or mixed
• 3 tablespoons olive oil


• 1 pound lean ground beef
• 1 medium onion, minced fine
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
• 1 egg, beaten
• 2 tablespoons each fresh parsley, basil, and oregano, chopped
• 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
• 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
• 4 tablespoons olive oil

1. Begin simmering tomatoes in a 6-quart stockpot. Cut sausage into 2-inch lengths, brown well in 3 tablespoons olive oil, and add to tomatoes.

2. Combine all meatball ingredients (except oil), form into 1-inch balls, brown in olive oil in a large skillet, and add to tomatoes. In the same skillet, sauté onions and garlic until soft. Add all other herbs listed for the sauce. Add tomato paste and water and simmer for about 10 minutes, until of a fairly thick consistency. Empty contents of skillet into tomatoes, and cook uncovered on very low heat for about 4 hours. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.

— Carla Hume
Thurmond, North Carolina

Check out more delicious spaghetti sauce recipes here: The Great Spaghetti Sauce Cookoff recipes.

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