Nonna’s Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs

Recipe Date: February 9, 2022
Serving Size: 8
Prep Time: 35 Minutes
Cook Time: 120 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Nonna brought this recipe with her when she came to this country from  Italy.  She passed it on to my mom who taught me and my brothers.  I’m happy to share it with you.

Buon appetito!


  • Sauce
  • 3 strips of bell pepper
  • 1 large onion, diced fine
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced fine
  • 2-3 sweet Italian sausages
  • 44 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 16 oz can of whole tomatoes
  • 35 oz water
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry sweet basil
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 TBL oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • Meatballs
  • 3 lbs lean ground beef or turkey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 TBL grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups ice water



Cover bottom of large dutch oven or equivalent with olive oil.  Add bell pepper, onion, garlic and Italian sausage (remove from casing, if desired).  Cook over medium heat until onions are transparent.

Add remainder of ingredients and stir over medium heat.  Once you reach a boil, lower heat to simmer and cover for approximately 2 hours.


Mix all ingredients together.  Form meatballs with wet hands (wet every 4-5 meatballs).  Add to simmering sauce.  Cook for 2 hours covered.  Taste to correct seasoning.

Serve with your favorite pasta.

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