Pasta Sauce with Meatballs

Pasta Sauce with Meatballs and Sausage:  This is the sauce for all the meat-lovers in your life.  It has two kinds of meat. Put it on some homemade fettucini or homemade ravioli.  My favorite is the simple vegan marinara sauce.  The marinara sauce is also the base for this meat-lovers pasta sauce with meatballs and sausage.  Farmer Freds’ favorite is spicy sausage.  He isn’t much of a meatball lover.  However, I add the meatballs for me as I’m not much of a spicy sausage lover.  So between the two of us we lick the pasta platter clean. 

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Tomato Sauce:I get the tomato sauce simmering first.  Once it is simmering, and it’s delicious aroma filling my kitchen, I make the meatballs and cook up the sausage.  I use my home jarred tomato puree and stewed tomatoes.  They give the sauce a bright fresh taste and lots of flavor.  If you didn’t get a chance to can some tomatoes then purchase cans of whole and sauce tomatoes,   Add in the Italian seasonings, fresh herbs are best.  However, dried herbs will be ok.  Add the garlic, a veal neck bone (optional), a little red wine, and start it simmering.

Fresh Frozen Herbs: My SIS (simple is smart) tip for fresh herbs all year long.  When you have extra fresh herbs simply take the leaves off the stems and put them in a ziplock bag in the freezer.  Then next time you need fresh herbs for cooking take out what you need and use in your recipe.  Take care to not defrost the rest of the bag.  

Meatball ingredients in a bowl
Uncooked meatballs on a baking sheet
baked meatballs

Meatballs: Once the sauce is simmering mix up and bake the meatballs.  Add all the ingredients for the meatballs to a bowl and mix well.  Form the meatballs with a cookie scoop or your fingers.  Either will work.  Bake the meatballs prior to adding to the sauce.  Once the meatballs are baked add them to the sauce at the end of the first hour.  

Boiling Italian Sausage
Browned Italian Sausage in fry pan

Sausage: Use spicy or sweet sausage Italian sausage.  Poke a few holes in each sausage and boil them in about 1/2 inch water in the fry pan.  Once the water has all boiled off add a teaspoon of oil to the pan and fry them until they are browned all over.  At the end of the second hour add the sausage to the pasta sauce with meatballs. hour.  Continue to simmer the sauce for another 30 minutes and then adjust the acidity with a couple of tbsp of sugar if needed.  The sauce will have a bitter taste if it’s too acidic.  Add salt to taste at this time also.  

pasta sauce with meatballs

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5 from 1 vote

Sauce for Pasta with Meatballs and Italian sausage

This Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs and Italian sausage is a meat lover delight. It is also delicious on other types of pasta. Great on ziti, penne, bowties, and screws. This recipe makes enough for 2 lbs of pasta.
Servings 8
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes


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  • large kettle (6 quart)


  • 2 quarts tomato sauce home-jarred is best. Purchase two 28 ounce cans if you don't have home-jarred.
  • 2 quarts whole tomatoes home-jarred stewed tomatoes are best. Purchase two 28 ounce cans of whole plum tomatoes if you don't have home-jarred.
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 veal neck bone
  • 8 cloves garlic chopped
  • ½ cup red wine merlot or malbec
  • 1 tbsp basil minced fresh
  • 1 tbsp oregano minced fresh
  • 1 tsp marjoram minced fresh
  • 1 tsp thyme minced fresh
  • 1 tbsp Italian parsley minced fresh


  • 1 lb ground beef 85% lean
  • 2 eggs add 3 eggs if ground beef is more than 85% lean
  • ¾ cup bread crumbs moistened with the milk. About 80% of the crumbs should be moistened
  • cup milk
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp salt

Italian Sausage

  • 8 Italian sausages spicy or sweet


Tomato Sauce

  • Blend the whole tomatoes in a blender and add to a large kettle. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients, stir well to mix.
    making pasta sauce
  • Add the browned Italian Sausage.
    Browned Italian Sausage in fry pan
  • Simmer for 2 hours stirring occasionally
    Marinara Sauce
  • At the end of the first hour add the meatballs and simmer for the second hour.
    meatballs in sauce
  • At the end of two hours, increase the heat to bring the sauce to an almost boil. Add salt to taste and adjust acidity by adding up to 2 tbsp sugar. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the starchy pasta water to thin to a good consistency. Serve over the pasta of your choice.
    Tomato pasta sauce with meatballs and sausage

Italian Sausage

  • Cut small slits in the side of the sausage links and place sausage in a frying pan with ¼ inch of water.
    Boiling Italian Sausage
  • Bring water to boil and cook the sausage in boiling water until water has evaporated.
  • Once water is all evaporated, add 1 tsp oil to the pan and fry sausage until browned on all sides.
    Browned Italian Sausage in fry pan
  • Add sausage to the tomato sauce.


  • Place ground hamburger in a bowl and add all of the other ingredients.
    Meatball ingredients in a bowl
  • Mix well. Form meatballs with a cookie scoop or your hands moistened with a little water to keep the meat from sticking to your fingers.
    Uncooked meatballs on a baking sheet
  • Place the meatballs on a parchment covered cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes, then add to the sauce at the end of the first hour of cooking.
  • Makes about 18 meatballs
    baked meatballs


substitute 3 tbsp. dried Italian Seasoning for the fresh herbs in the tomato sauce.  Or substitute fresh herbs for the dried Italian seasoning in the meatballs. 
A serving includes 2 meatballs and 1 Italian sausage in addition to 1 cup of sauce. 
Read the blog for instructions on how have fresh-frozen herbs all year long and how to make your own jarred pasta.
Calories: 722kcal
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 722kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 188mg | Sodium: 2357mg | Potassium: 1883mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 3140IU | Vitamin C: 52mg | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 7mg

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