Spaghetti and Meatballs with Tomato Gravy

I have tried many different recipes for meatballs and tomato gravy (sauce), ranging from the long slow cooked variety to the quicker method. I just tried this one and I think I like it better that the rest of them. My house guests loved it too.

Italian Tomato Gravy
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 garlic cloves, chopped
• Pinch red pepper flakes
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 onion, diced
• 1 carrot, finely chopped
• 1/4 cup red wine
• 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes
• Pinch sugar
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Sauté the garlic, red pepper flakes, and herbs for 2 minutes until the herbs are fragrant and garlic is golden (but not overly brown.) Raise the heat to medium, add onion and carrot; cook for 5 minutes until they breakdown and are soft. De glaze with red wine and reduce to evaporate the alcohol. Crush the canned tomatoes and add to the pot, along with its liquid. Add a pinch of sugar to cut down on the acidity from the tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Let simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered.

Italian Sausage Meatballs:
• 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
• 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
• 1 pound hot Italian sausage, removed from casings
• 10 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 eggs, lightly beaten
• 4 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, sweet sausage, hot sausage, garlic, eggs, Essence, salt, and black pepper, and mix briefly but thoroughly to distribute seasonings. Shape into meatballs and set aside, refrigerated. When you gravy is ready, gently drop the meatballs into the gravy. No need to brown them. Do not stir until the meatballs rise to the top of the gravy.

2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup

I love making spaghetti gravy from scratch & this sounds wonderful. I will definitely make this.

I am glad you like the recipes I post.

I have a question, how about if you cannot get fresh herbs like the thyme, and oregano, can you use the dry? and what conversion?

Yes, you can use dried of you cannot get fresh herbs. Dried herbs are more concentrated in flavor than fresh ones. Generally use 1/3 as much if using dried. Of course, it is really a matter of taste, so after you sauce cooks for awhile taste and and adjust to your liking.