Active Time
1 HR 30 MIN
Total Time
2 HR
Yield
Serves : 4 to 6
© Nicole Franzen

How to Make It

Step 1    Make the tomato sauce

In a large ovenproof saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, carrots and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until lightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add the bay leaf, oregano, tomatoes and crushed red pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 15 minutes. Season with salt and keep at a bare simmer.


Step 2    Meanwhile, make the meatballs

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the Grana Padano and mix by hand until well incorporated. Using a 1 1/2-ounce ice cream scoop (3 tablespoons), scoop 24 meatballs (1 1/2 inches in diameter) and roll into neat balls.

Step 3    

Add the meatballs to the simmering tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Braise in the oven until firm and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and oregano sprigs. Serve the meatballs and sauce with Grana Padano on the side.

Make Ahead

The meatballs can be refrigerated in the sauce overnight and rewarmed before serving.

Suggested Pairing

Concentrated, medium-bodied Italian red.

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