Spaghetti and Meatballs are everyone’s favorite dish, but the store-bought versions often lack in flavor and freshness. Santillan’s easy homemade meatballs in marinara sauce are easy to make, simple in ingredients, and big on flavor. Let this meticulous and versatile photographer walk you through her kitchen and learn how to make authentic meatballs, the Italian way. Once you make this classic Italian dish, you will never want to buy the store-bought stuff again.
My dear friend Rachael Santillan recently invited me and another sweet friend, Mary Jane over for Homemade Meatballs in Marinara over homemade pasta noodles! It was fantastic. I went for seconds. I am still working those calories off, but it was totally worth it.
Rachael is a very talented freelance photographer. Her work is published in Wedding Style Magazine, Military Spouse Magazine, MSNBC.com, Charisma Magazine, The Fayetteville Observer, NEXT! Magazine, Real Estate Marketplace, Premier Homes, and several periodic publications and books. She also does Humanitarian Photography and spends much of her free time working on efforts to bring aid to women and children being rescued from poverty and trafficking with her company, Cotton Dahlia.
This is just a small example of her Humanitarian Photography work from her travels. Aren’t they beautiful? I am a HUGE admirer of her work and her Humanitarian efforts.
She is equally as talented in the kitchen as she is a photographer; and she was kind enough to share her family’s meatball and marinara recipe with me to share with you!!! It was taught to her by her very sweet and charming mother-in-law.
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How to make Homemade Meatballs
Here are Rachael’s step-by-step instructions on how to make homemade meatballs in a delicious marinara sauce.
- Begin with sautéing onion, garlic, and mushrooms until cooked.
- Next, add the cooked onion, garlic, and mushrooms to a can of whole tomatoes in a Vitamix 5200 Series Blender, Black (I love my Vitamix. I can’t live without it.) and pulses until the vegetables are of fine pieces.
- This, along with some seasonings will go into a large stock pan to create the sauce. You begin cooking it on low while you make the meatballs.
- To make the meatballs, you take parmesan, milk, and breadcrumbs in a large bowl and mix. You let it rest for one minute.
- Next, you add the hamburger meat, egg, grated onion, salt, and pepper to bread crumbs and mix well.
- You can hand scoop or use a melon scooper to form small balls of meat. Then you roll them in a light dust of flour.
- Next, you cook them in the sauce on low for about an hour. Carefully add meatballs in one by one to the sauce. Do not stir meatballs or they will fall apart until they have cooked for a little bit. Instead, lightly shake the pot to move them around.
- Next, you cook them in the sauce on low for about an hour stirring sauce from time to time.
That’s it! Serve it over pasta or zoodles! Don’t these look fantastic? Yummmmmmm…..
You know you want to go make some! I suggest you make them today!
Santillan's Easy Homemade Italian Meatballs in Marinara Sauce
- 1 diced onion
- 1 cup chopped portobello mushrooms
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 48 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp Italian Herbs
- 1/2 tsp basil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 lb hamburger meat
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup parmesan
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/2 onion finely grated
- salt and pepper
- Extra Parmesan for garnishing
- For the Sauce:
- Sauté onion, garlic, and mushrooms in olive oil until cooked.
- Add cooked onion, garlic, and mushrooms with 2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes to blender. Pulse until finely chopped.
- Add mixture to large sauce land and add Italian Herbs, basil, salt, and pepper.
- Cook on low.
- For the Meatballs:
- While sauce begins to cook, in a large mixing bowl, combine bread crumbs, parmesan, and milk.
- Let breadcrumb mixture sit for one minute.
- Add hamburger meat, grated onion, egg, salt, and pepper to breadcrumb mixture and mix well.
- Roll meat into small balls using a melon scoop.
- Roll each ball into flour for a very light dusting. Shake off any excess flour.
- Place each ball one at a time carefully into sauce.
- Do not stir meatballs until they have cooked for a while. Instead shake the pan a bit to move them around. Other wise, meatballs may fall apart.
- After sauce and meatballs have cooked for a while, stir sauce carefully.
- Cook for one hour on low.