Kielbasa and Meatballs with Basil Tomatoes

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: approximately 12 servings
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2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed and sliced

1 green bell pepper, stem and seeds removed and sliced

1 (29 to 32-ounce) can chopped plum tomatoes in puree

1 bunch fresh basil, thoroughly rinsed, leaves stripped from stems and cut chiffonade, and stems bundled with kitchen twine


1 tablespoon vegetable oil or olive oil

1 pound smoked kielbasa


1 cup fresh bread crumbs

1/4 cup milk

1 white onion, diced

2 eggs

1 tablespoon finely diced fresh parsley leaves

1 pound ground beef

1 dozen Italian style rolls, sliced


  1. For the sauce: Heat olive oil in a saucepan and saute onion and garlic until translucent, being careful not to burn. Stir in sliced peppers and gently cook until softened. Stir in tomatoes, fresh basil leaves bundled basil stems, season with salt and pepper and let cook gently to let flavors integrate.
  2. For the kielbasa: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  3. While the sauce is cooking, heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook kielbasa until they begin to brown being careful to keep heat at medium so they don't split. Transfer to a large baking dish with a slotted spoon, reserving the drippings in the skillet to sear the meatballs.
  4. For the meatballs: While the kielbasa are cooking, mix breadcrumbs, milk, onions, eggs, and parsley in a mixing bowl. Add ground beef and mix thoroughly. Form into small meatballs and sear in the pan in which the kielbasa were cooked. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the baking dish with the kielbasa. Pour the sauce over the kielbasa and meatballs, and cover with a lid or foil, and finish in the oven for about 20 minutes.
  5. Serve as sandwiches with Italian rolls.