The Traditional Meatball with Pesto Sauce as served at The Meatball Stoppe in Orlando, Florida as seen on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives episode 2610.
Recipe courtesy of The Meatball Stoppe

Nonna's Traditional Meatballs

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 15 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: about 25 meatballs


Roasted Tomato Sauce:


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the ground beef and ground pork in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor, combine the milk, eggs, garlic, basil, parsley, cayenne and salt. Process until pureed.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the meat and mix to combine. Then add breadcrumbs and Romano, and gently combine; be careful not to overwork the meat.
  5. With the help of an ice cream scoop (for even sizing), shape the mixture into 2-ounce meatballs and place on a baking sheet.
  6. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake the meatballs for 30 minutes.
  7. Add the meatballs to the Roasted Tomato Sauce and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Roasted Tomato Sauce:

Yield: 7 cups
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a deep lasagna pan, add the garlic, anchovies, olive oil, red pepper flakes and salt. Place the pan on the stovetop and saute for 5 to 7 minutes to soften. Remove from the heat and add the canned tomatoes and oregano; mix well.
  3. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until the tomatoes are nicely charred on top, 45 minutes. Let cool, then blend to your liking with an immersion blender; we like our sauce a bit chunky, but feel free to puree if you choose.