John’s Tomato Sauce with Meatballs

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John's Tomato Sauce with Meatballs

Total Time: 35
Yield: Sauce: 8 cups Meatballs: 12 servings


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 28-ounce can pureed tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted andfinely chopped or pureed
  • 10 leaves fresh basil
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 servings Meatballs


In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, warm oil and gently saut



  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted
  • 1/4 pound sliced prosciutto, roughly chopped
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground beef (85-90% lean)
  • 1 sweet onion (Vidalia or Walla Walla; substitute yellow onion), finely chopped
  • 1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for the table
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs


Heat oven to 350°. Place garlic and bell pepper in a food processor and pulse a few times to break them up. Add prosciutto and basil and pulse until well combined. Remove to a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients (through eggs) and mix with your hands until well combined. Form into golf ball-sized balls. Place on a baking sheet and bake about 15 minutes.

John uses prosciutto as the pork component for its rich texture and flavor.


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