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.

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time55 mins
  • Serves8
  • DifficultyEasy

For the sauce:

1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Two 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand

For the meatballs:

2 slices stale white sandwich bread
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 pounds beef mince
1 1/2 pounds pork mince
1 cup grated Parmesan
2 large eggs, beaten
1 small onion, grated
1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely grated
Large pinch chilli flakes
Olive oil, for the baking trays

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 220°C. Tear the bread into very small pieces. Pour the milk over the bread, and let sit until the bread is soft, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the beef, pork, Parmesan, eggs, onions, parsley, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and chilli flakes, 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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