Pork Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

“I crashed and burned the first time I made these meatballs,” says chef Tandy Wilson. “The sauce was way too spicy.” He has since perfected the recipe. Large meatballs are great in a sub sandwich or on top of pasta; mini meatballs can be skewered with toothpicks for hors d’oeuvres. Slideshow: More Incredible Meatball Recipes 

Active Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
4 hrs
6 to 8


  • 3 cups fresh bread crumbs

  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk

  • 2 1/2 pounds fatty ground pork

  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

  • 8 garlic cloves, minced

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing and drizzling

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • Two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes

  • Freshly grated Grana Padano cheese, for serving


  1. In a large bowl, soak the bread crumbs in the milk for 15 minutes. Add the ground pork, parsley, half of the garlic, 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper; knead gently to combine. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

  2. Preheat the oven to 300°. Form the meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and arrange them in a lightly oiled roasting pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, until just cooked through.

  3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat the 1/3 cup of oil. Add the onion, the remaining garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Cook over moderate heat until the onion is softened, 10 minutes. Add the oregano and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderately low heat until slightly reduced, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until almost smooth. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

  4. Pour the sauce over the meatballs, cover tightly with foil and bake for 2 hours. Drizzle the meatballs with oil, sprinkle with cheese and serve.

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