Meatballs With Marinara Sauce

Makes 4-6 Servings | Takes about 1 1/2 hours stovetop or 4-5 slow cooker



  • ¼  cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2  ounces salt pork belly, thinly sliced
  • 1 small sweet onion sliced into 4 quarters
  • 6  garlic cloves, minced
  • 4  cans of plum tomatoes (I usually use San Marzano or Tuttorosso’s) 
  • 6  leaves fresh basil, torn into small pieces 
  • Salt and ground black pepper


  • 1  pound ground lean beef
  • ½  pound ground veal
  • ½  pound ground pork
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese 
  • 1/4 cup Fresh minced basil 
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbps Milk
  • 1 clove garlic, lightly smashed
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 4 minced garlic cloves (add more to your liking) 


Make the sauce: 

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, then add the salt pork belly. Sauté until fat has rendered, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard salt pork. Add onion and sauté , after sauté onion discard it. Add garlic and sauté just until softened. Add tomatoes with their juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 45 minutes. Add the basil, oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 1 minute more.

Make the meatballs:

 In a mixing bowl, combine the beef, veal, and pork. Add the cheese, parsley, and minced garlic, then salt and pepper as desired. Add the bread crumbs and mix well. Add eggs and milk. Shape into 1 1/2 -inch meatballs. Try to do fast pace and not much handling, it toughens them.
Preheat oven to 350. Put meatballs on a baking sheet, turn once with thongs after slightly browned. After it is browned on both sides (about 25 min) put in potted sauce and cook for few hours. 1 1/2 hours stovetop or 4-5 slow cooker. Stir so there is no burning on the bottom. If by chance, the bottom of pan burns, do not scrape into sauce. Stir gently.

Serve with you favorite pasta, Italian bread for dipping and enjoy!  Serve with your favorite wine, I love a good Cabernet. Delish!