Paul's "Make the Whole Crew Happy" Sausage Meatballs with Red Gravy

Note: This recipe is an adaptation of one devised by Charlotte's friend Paul Martory, a New Orleans firefighter! It's a recipe that he makes[ for the firehouse crew!]

Total Time:
2 hr 10 min
30 min
1 hr 40 min

4 hearty servings, plus enough

  • Red Gravy:
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 20 cloves garlic, minced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons whole fennel seeds
  • 2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 4 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, pureed with their juice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
  • 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
  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, garnish
  • Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
  • 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
Sausage Meatballs:

In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, Italian seasoning, salt, and red pepper, and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft, 6 minutes. Add the garlic and fennel, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until paste begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, pureed tomatoes, 2 1/2 cups of water, and Essence, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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.

Add the meatballs to the sauce and do not stir until the meatballs float to the top of the sauce, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir well, and simmer the meatballs in the sauce for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming any fat that rises to the surface. Taste, adjust seasoning as necessary, and serve immediately over hot pasta. Pass the grated Parmesan at the table.

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Yield: about 2/3 cup

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

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    This recipe is outstanding. My husband has made it for many family gatherings--parties and we always receive a ton of compliments. It makes a lot more than it says it yields and leftovers freezes great.
    This is a winner. Everyone loves this recipe.
    Wow. Seriously. Couple hours start to finish, but oh my. Savory to the nth degree. Do your self a favor, make this recipe! Oh, and don't skimp on the garlic or fennel, they make this sauce what it is! Enjoy...
    I use this recipe just for the tomato sauce because it's that good!
    Used this recipe for a friendly cookoff and won. It is similar to a Diablo sauce with the spices. Definitely not your tradiational family sauce.
    Very flavorful sauce - excellent! I love meatballs with sausage. I made a double batch and used the extra to make meatball subs with provolone cheese later in the week.
    Love the recipe, make it at least once a month, I make a double batch and freeze any left overs for another meal, also great for meatball sandwiches
    I searched over many recipes, and this one truly makes an authentic N.O. style sauce. I just added a few tablespoons of sugar, but I think different brands of tomatoes have different levels of acidity. The sauce is very easy to make and it comes together very quickly.
    These are the absolute best meatballs and sauce I've ever had. My husband makes them for special occasions, or just because. We love them on pasta, as a grinder with swiss cheese, etc. They are just a wonderful, awesome, great fam-damily gathering food. About as comforting as comfort food can get. They will be a staple in household for the rest of my lifetime.
    what a recipe i'll never fry another meatball wtg fire fighters!
    Our favorite, every one loves it.
    My husband and I thoroughly enjoy these meatballs! Sometimes we just make a meal out of the meatballs without any pasta!
    Everytime I make these meatballs and bring some for lunch, everyone in the office gathers around the kitchen and some of my co-workers follow me to my office just for the aroma!
    This is a huge hit evertime I make it.
    This makes the best spaghetti sauce (red gravy) I have ever tasted! Mt son and his wife agree with me. But the recipe does make a HUGE amount, so expect to freeze some.
    My Dad made this recipe when we all got together for a late Thanksgiving. Everyone really enjoyed it. All of my kids, and they are picky eaters, said they would eat it again.
    This is a great recipe. I omit the fennel seed myself because I don't care for it. Very easy to make and HUGE portions.
    I made this dish after my husband saw it on Emeril. It is fantastic. Don't be surprised when your pot is not big enough to hold it all. It makes 4 HUGE servings. (More like 12 servings) It freezes well in case you have too much.

    It has fantastic flavor. It is spicy. Very very good!
    A crowd pleaser!
    I made this recipe for my dad, and we were both amazed at the explosion of garlic and fennel seeds and spice. What an absolute manely meal fit for kings.
    Great recipe, but thankfully I was judicious (1 Tsp) with the fennel and it turned out great. Makes a wonderful red gravy and proves you just cant use too much garlic.
    This Meal came out very good
    Very tasty! I've passed this along to my daughter's boyfriend, who is a firefighter! They loved it.
    I have been making spaghetti sauce for many years. Some of my recipes are 3 and 4 generations old from Italy. This sauce and meatball recipe is very easy to make and has a spicy kick to it. I personally loved it. Always remember in all recipes your best results come from using the finest ingredients available. Enjoy!
    better then mine! the best you got to make this....
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