Who doesn’t love a good hearty tomato sauce with meatballs?! It’s an entire meal in a bowl and is PACKED with flavor. Sorry to break it to you though, it’s not actually made in Italy! It’s an American creation that uses flavors and techniques from authentic Italian cooking. I serve my tomato sauce with mini meatballs that fit perfectly in the concave side of Handmade Orecchiette pasta. For my meatballs, my protein of choice is plant-based meat, but you can use beef, lamb, or anything you’d like. Top it off with some freshly grated parmesan and enjoy!
Orecchiette With Tomato Sauce & Mini Meatballs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for frying meatballs
- 1 small onion chopped
- 4 garlic cloves diced
- ½ large carrot chopped
- ½ stalk celery chopped
- ½ cup red wine
- 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoons basil chopped
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup ground protein Impossible meat, Beef, or Lamb
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 recipe Handmade Orecchiette
- Optional: Parmesan cheese
- In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, until translucent. Add in the garlic, carrot, and celery. Cook for an additional 4 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Deglaze the pan with the red wine then cook until thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Pour the whole peeled tomatoes into a blender or food processor and pulse until slightly blended. Pour the tomato puree into the pot along with tomato paste, parsley, basil, sugar, red chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil then partially cover with the lid and simmer on low heat for 20-25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the ground protein, garlic powder, and dried oregano in a small bowl. Roll the meat into teaspoon-sized balls. Heat some olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan. Add in the mini meatballs and fry for 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally to brown on all sides. After nicely browned, add the mini meatballs into the tomato sauce.
- Once the sauce is almost ready, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in the Handmade Orecchiette and cook for 4 minutes, until al dente. Add the drained pasta into the tomato sauce and mix to fully coat. Serve hot topped with grated parmesan and chopped basil.