place the go-to tomato sauce in a large pot set over low heat and let it get warm (mine was simmering away because i started it just prior to making the meatballs).
while the sauce is warming, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet (i love and use cast iron!) over medium-high heat. cook the meatballs, in batches if necessary, until they're browned all over, 2-3 minutes on a side (at least!). transfer the browned meatballs to the simmering tomato sauce and partially cover the pot. let the meatballs cook gently for 1/2 hour, carefully stirring every now and then to make sure they're cooking evenly. mine simmered in there for at least an hour. there's no room for precision timing at five o'clock around here!
she suggests serving it over gluten-free pasta, polenta or broccoli rabe – i spooned ours over orzo and made a big, green salad on the side.
a photo of the finished product would have been a nice touch but dinnertime is go-time around here. no time for the camera. i will say that bonzo loved loved loved it. i wouldn't classify him as overly picky or super adventurous of an eater, and i'll admit that i had some doubts about whether or not he'd like this dish... but it was a success – and will be in regular rotation over here!
and here's how to make her tomato sauce. it's easy as can be.
go-to tomato sauce. serves 4.
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (i minced mine)
4 large fresh basil leaves
two 28 oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes with their juice (try to find BPA-free cans!)
coarse sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat, add the garlic, and cook for 5 minutes. add 2 of the basil leaves and stir for one minute. add the tomatoes with their juice and the 2 remaining basil leaves. turn the heat to high. bring the sauce to a boil, turn the heat to low, season with salt and pepper, and let it bubble away on low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and crushing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. i took my immersion blender to it instead so it'd be almost-completely smooth. i fished out the basil leaves, blended it up, threw the leaves back in and let it simmer for another hour, easily.