Granny’s Meatballs and Sauce

My husband is from a Pittsburgh Italian family. His Granny spent most of her time in the kitchen. They had a dog who would not eat his food without her sauce on it.

Her sauce recipe was given to me years ago and I lost it when we moved. Well, I found it and have been making it once a month since. I’ve simplified it a little bit but it still taste good. I can’t say just as good because I never got to try hers, my husband assured me mine is not as good.

Meatball ingredients- make them first

1 package of meatloaf mix

1 egg

1/4 white onion- very finely diced

1/4 green pepper-very finely diced, can use food processor

2 garlic cloves- minced

Italian bread crumbs


Finely dice or even mince onion, peppers, and garlic in a food processor. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix by hand adding bread crumbs last and use just enough to bind. Form into small balls.

Add evoo or bacon grease to the pot you will use for sauce and brown meatballs on low. This will take a few batches. Don’t overcrowd and don’t over brown them as they will cook in the sauce later.

Sauce ingredients:

2 chicken drumsticks with skin removed

Bacon fat or evoo

A small white onion- finely diced

3 cloves of garlic- minced

2 cans of whole tomatoes

1/2 can of tomato paste

Teaspoon of- oregano, garlic powder, parsley and sugar

Salt and pepper to taste- I use a decent amount of salt

2 bay leaves- remove once cooked

Fresh basil

In a Dutch oven add evoo or bacon grease then add chicken and brown. Remove chicken to a plate. Add diced onions and cook for 3-4 minutes then add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add chicken back.

While chicken browns add two cans of tomatoes to blender. Then pour into pot. Add paste and spices. Add meatballs! Bring to a boil and cook for 1 hour on low with lid vented. Add fresh basil at end and remove bay leaves.

After sauce is complete remove meatballs with tongs and serve separately. Remove chicken as it should fall off the bone and serve separately.

Serve with fresh pasta.


Published by Lem0815

Mother of two and wife to my junior high sweetheart. I believe the key to life is balance and the key to healthy eating is to not restrict and incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal.

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