Meatballs and Sausage Sunday Dinner Pasta Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 12
For the Sausage:
  • 5 Hot Italian sausage (Primo is preferred)
  • 5 Sweet Italian sausage (Primo is preferred)
For the Meatballs:
  • 2 hamburger or hot dog rolls - about 1½ cups ground (plain white cheap hamburger or hot dog rolls – nothing fancy is needed)but white bread is not recommended.
  • 3 Pounds 80/20 lean ground beef
  • ¼ Tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tsp Kosher salt
  • 3 Tsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tsp onion powder
  • 1 Tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ Cup ketchup
  • ½ Cup Parmesan Romano grated cheese
  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ Cup Italian Seasoned bread crumbs
  • ¼ Cup + 1 tablespoon milk
For the Tomato Sauce:
  • 6 Cans Hunts tomato sauce or your favorite store brand 29 oz (I use Harris Teeter store brand sauce)
  • 2 large Bay Leaves
  • 2 Cups water
  • 1 Tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tsp onion powder
  • 1 Cup dry red wine (I like red burgundy by Livingston it gives the right balance and believe me I’ve tried everything and this gives the best flavor)
Preparing the Sausage:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place 5 hot and 5 sweet Italian sausages in a water bath (I use a hotel pan and add enough water so that the water rises about a ¼ to ½ way up the sausage) and cook sausage for 30 minutes (flipping half way through cooking).
Preparing the Meatballs:
  1. While the sausage is cooking begin to prepare the meatballs by grinding 2 hamburger rolls or hot dog rolls (regular white rolls) in a spice grinder (we use a coffee grinder) until the bread is finely chopped.
  2. Place ground 1½ cup ground buns in a bowl and add milk, mixing with your fingers to combine the milk and ground buns together, set bowl aside.
  3. In a second large bowl place 3 pounds ground 80/20 ground beef beef and add ¼ Tsp of freshly ground black pepper, the ground buns mixture you prepared earlier, 1 Tsp Kosher salt, 3 Tsp garlic powder, 3 Tsp onion powder, 1 Tsp Italian seasoning, ½ cup ketchup, ½ cup Parmesan Romano grated cheese,1 egg, ¼ cup Italian Seasoned bread crumbs.
  4. Mix all ingredients in the bowl together until evenly distributed (you want the ingredients to be well incorporated into the meat).
  5. Form meat mixture into 2.5 oz sized meatballs, I like to use an ice cream scoop to make the job of measuring out the meat easier (yield is approx. 25 meatballs).
  6. Place meatballs on sheet pan and cook in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes.
  7. Remove meatballs from oven when slightly browned and firm to the touch.
  8. Set sausage and meatballs to the side using tongs or a slotted spoon to drain off any excess fat
Preparing the Tomato Sauce:
  1. In a large pot add 6 cans of tomato sauce, 2 cups of water, 2 whole Bay Leaves, 1 Tsp garlic powder, 1 Tsp onion powder and 1 cup red wine.
  2. Bring to a slow boil and then reduce heat to a med to low simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 to 45 minutes.
  3. Cut all the sausage in half and place in pot along with meatballs and reduce heat to a med to low simmer.
  4. Cook sauce over med to low simmer stirring occasionally for approximately 4 to 6 hours. The longer the better!
  5. Serve over your favorite pasta and enjoy!
Recipe by Mamma Rocks the Kitchen at