Easy Dinner Idea: Polpette Con Sugo (Italian Meatballs in Tomato Sauce) di Nonna Laura


This post was written by guest contributor, Elena Davis with MamaMiaMangia

Are you looking for a meal that can feed your family for weeks that everyone, especially children and teens, will enjoy?

These nutritious homemade meatballs are the perfect meal to make on a Sunday afternoon and freeze for weeks to come!

Let your children take part in the recipe by having them roll the meatballs in their tiny hands. 

This is another tried and true simple, flavorful and mouth watering recipe from my Nonna.

I’ve sat at so many different kitchen tables and rolled these exact meatballs with her countless times. The smell of onion frying in olive oil, fresh tomatoes, basil, and beef and parsley bring me back to all those tables and all of our conversations. My favorite part about all my Nonna’s recipes is the simplicity and authenticity of the fresh ingredients. It’s about highlighting the natural flavors of the food and this recipe exemplifies just that.

Made with Amore,
Elena and Nonna Laura 


Serves 4-6 people

Polpette (meatballs)

1 pound of full fat ground beef

2 slices of stale bread

1/2 Cup milk

1/2 Cup parmigiano reggiano

1 egg

3 tablespoons fresh minced parsley (optional 1 Tbs fresh minced garlic)

Salt and pepper to taste


Sugo (sauce)

1 large (28 oz/ 794 grams) can high quality crushed tomatoes

1/2 an onion, diced

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

5 fresh basil leaves


Soften the bread in milk until unified mixture

Add the egg to bread mixture and combine

Put the ground meat in a bowl with bread, finely chopped parsley, garlic(if using) grated parmigiano, salt, pepper.

Combine egg mixture with meat mixture. Mix WELL with your hands. If it too wet add some breadcrumbs

Take the beef mixture and gently roll between your hands to form 1 1/2-inch meatballs. Set on a cookie sheet

Pour extra-virgin olive oil into a large frying pan and brown the onion (about 7 minutes on medium heat). Add crushed tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.

Plunge your meatballs into the pot with the tomato sauce. Let it cook on low for about 20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked all the way.

Once finished cooking add the basil and stir.

Cook your favorite pasta or gnocchi, as directed by package, to serve with meatballs. You can also eat without  pasta and serve on delicious bread or with a side of rice. Generously top with parmigiano and serve hot!

Freeze portions of meatballs and sauce in a freezer friendly container and have a healthy meal ready to go! Freeze up to 2 months  

If you make this recipe please write a comment to tell me your thoughts! I want to connect with all of you through your experience with my recipes.

Love, Elena 

Connect with Elena!





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