Big-Batch Meatballs and Red Sauce

Buy some extra meat and simmer a little extra sauce. Then pack your freezer with dinner that just has to be thawed, reheated and tossed with some pasta.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 6 to 9 servings
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Ingredients

Sauce:

1/4 cup olive oil

6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Two 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand

Handful torn fresh basil leaves

Kosher salt

Meatballs:

2 slices stale white sandwich bread

1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 1/2 pounds ground pork

1 cup grated Parmesan

2 large eggs, beaten

1 small onion, grated

1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely grated

Kosher salt

Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes

Olive oil, for the baking sheets

Directions

  1. For the sauce: Swirl the oil and garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the garlic is just lightly browned and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and 1 cup water, and bring to a high simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the basil and 2 teaspoons salt and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
  2. For the meatballs: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Tear the bread into very small pieces and put it in a small bowl. Pour the milk over the bread, and let sit until the bread is soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Combine the bread mixture with the beef, pork, Parmesan, eggs, onions, parsley, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and red pepper flakes in a large bowl, and thoroughly mix with your hands. Divide the mixture evenly into 36 mounds, and roll each into a ball.
  4. Brush 2 rimmed baking sheets generously with oil. Evenly divide the meatballs between the sheets, and roll them around to coat in oil. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, rotating the sheets halfway through if needed, 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Transfer the meatballs to the warm sauce, and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Let the meatballs and sauce cool completely, divide evenly among four 1-quart containers and freeze for up to 1 month.
  6. To reheat: Let a container of the meatballs and sauce thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer them to a microwave-safe container, and microwave in 2-minute increments, gently stirring after each, until the meatballs are heated through.
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