Thursday, July 30, 2009

Meatballs with Parsley and Homemade Marinara

It has been a cool summer here in the Midwest so pasta is tasting unusually good for this time of year. With fresh garden tomatoes coming to the farmer's markets or perhaps into your garden, I thought these recipes would be fun to share.

Freshly chopped tomatoes or homemade tomato puree substituted for canned ingredients make an even fresher-tasting marinara.

I will be freezing whole tomatoes to make pasta sauce and soup during the winter!

Meatballs with Parsley and Parmesan

Recipe adapted from Bon App├ętit, June 1996
Printable Recipe

Makes about 44 meatballs

I substituted mayonnaise for the olive oil in the original recipe after reading the comment section of the recipe. It works great!


4 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh French breadcrumbs or Panko breadcrumbs or a combination of both
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional)
2 pounds of meatloaf mix or 2/3 pound lean ground beef, 2/3 pound ground veal and 2/3 pound ground pork

Preparation :

Preheat oven to 400F. Stir eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, oil, parsley, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper in large bowl to blend. Add ground beef and mix thoroughly. Form mixture into 1 1/2-inch diameter meatballs and arrange on a rack over a rimmed cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes. You can also saute the meatballs in olive oil in your prefer.

Add cooked meatballs to your favorite marinara sauce and simmer until flavors are blended. Serve over cooked pasta. Top with some freshly grated parmesan and fresh basil chiffonade and enjoy!


Mama's Marinara
Recipe Courtesy Rocco DiSpirito
Printable Recipe

Serves 6

3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
Chili flakes to taste
2 28-ounce cans tomato puree (I used my garden tomatoes)
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (I used my garden tomatoes)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
1 cup chicken stock
Red pepper flakes to taste
Salt to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pot (large enough to hold all of the rest of the ingredients) over medium heat. Saute the garlic and onion about 10 minutes or until garlic is tender and onions translucent, but do not brown. Add the chili flakes to taste.

Stir in all the tomato ingredients. Add the chicken stock into one of the 28-oz cans and fill it the to the top with water and add that plus the sugar to the pot. Stir and bring to a simmer. Season with salt to taste and cover. Simmer the sauce for approximately 1 hour. The sauce should be thin, but not watery. Uncover and simmer longer if it is too thin or add a little water if is too thick.


  1. Thanks for sharing these recipes. They look so good, and I have a lots of tomatoes ready to do something with! Happy Foodie Friday!

  2. My grandmom would be happy to eat at your table with these recipes:) I have not had pasta in 3 months now and I am going nuts looking at the photo:)

  3. Thanks so much for stopping by..
    Your food photos are amazing. I've discovered food is sometimes VERY hard to photograph and make it look good. You are spot on with yours. Thanks for the recipes, too. They sound great.

  4. First of all, I think this is my first visit to your blog... I LOVE it!!

    Secondly, you must try Rocco's meatloaf some time. It's fabulous!!!!!!

    And thirdly, thanks for making my all-time favorite pasta shape - long fusili. I always stock up on it when I travel because I can't get it where I live.

  5. Great recipes. Your tomatoes look great:)

  6. Looks delicious, crop is pitiful...not even enough for a pizza!

    Have a great weekend!

  7. I'll have to used canned tomatoes, as we are in the middle of winter, but that pasta sure looks delicious!!!

  8. Looks delicious - first time I have ever seen mayo in a meatball recipe!! Seems like I have been wearing sweaters more this summer than ever this dish would be really warming!!!

  9. What an awesome flashback Susan! I will have to remember this when more of my tomatoes get ripe. I love meatballs :-) Glad you joined me for the flashback. I have my post up if you want to add your link.

  10. GREAT!!! recipes, looks and sounds wonderful. THANKS!!! for sharing these recipes. Geri

  11. Yum yum..I could eat this in 110 temps:) Mama's well loved isn't she? Now where is Rocco these days?

  12. Lovely post, Susan ... It's been a cool summer here, too. The local meteorologist mentioned that this was the 3rd coolest July in 115 years (since records were kept).

    Coincidentally, we had pasta and marinara last night. I can't remember that happening too many times in July. I love Rocco's mama's meatballs but have never tried the marinara. Thanks for the endorsement

  13. Tomatoes are my favorite. That sauce looks delish. This week I did sangria fro recipe sharing. I hope you'll stop by my site and share this tasty post:

  14. I could eat this easily on a hot day too! Wow, it looks so good. No ripe tomatoes here either but I sure liked your flashback.

  15. These recipes sound wonderful. And . . . I just happen to have some tomatoes growing in the garden!

    Christi @ A Southern Life

  16. Those meatballs look REALLY good! I have also been cooking meals this summer that I wouldn't normally make if it were hot. And my 25 heirloom tomato plants are also doing nothing. Lots of big, green tomatoes. I hope I get something from them before the wilt on the bottom works its way up the plant.

  17. These look so good. Thanks for your beautiful blog. I hope you will join me at for Crock Pot Wednesdays. The details for that and the Mister Linky are already posted. The first giveaway item has been announced and you can expect the additional ones over the next few days. The date of the first event is August 5. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Hi Susan! This looks so yummy! My grandson would love the meatballs! I scrolled down and looked t your baby robin pics. Cute! I have a nest of robin babies newly hatched! I will enjoy keeping up with them, too. Enjoy your weekend!...Debbie

  19. It's anything but cool here in Phoenix....but I'm going to try this recipe anyway! LOL It looks so delicious!

  20. Love meatballs and pasta! Fusilli is fun! Great post, Susan, we had meatballs last week! We love them cold on a hero next day, or hot. Yours look amazing!

    Still waiting for my toms, too! I have six sungolds total so far! Worth the wait though.

  21. Ahh I love seeing a pile of meatballs on the plate. The sauce looks great!

  22. Hi Susan:
    Thanks so much for visiting. Your meatballs looks so delicious! I'll be checking back for more recipes.
    - The Tablescaper

  23. YUM, one of my favorite meals. I made homemade marinara sauce last summer when we were at the peak of the harvest. About ten pounds of tomatoes yielded 4 pints of sauce. How does that happen!

  24. Stop on over. I'm pleased to give you an award for your blog:)

  25. Well Susan, it's been two months since my last visit (why does this sound like a confessional?) and it's going to take divine intervention to get me caught up with all that you've been up to. But, it'll be fun to try.

    It's particularly satisfying to start off with Meatballs and Mama's Marinara. I think we could eat that every day without flinching. Looks simply delicious!

  26. Oh, and I'm jealous of your tomatoes.


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