It’s a beautiful wonderful Sunday here in North Carolina!  Yesterday was, well, what can I say…the weather was, ah, really…just awful, not the best, and gave lots of folks a nasty attitude.  Well, not us – I was not having it!  We made the best of it by doing a few chores, finishing up some Christmas decorating and then, friends came over for a big pot of meatballs and sauce!  Everyone pitched in to make their own warm plate of pasta smothered in rich tomato sauce.  Then they piled on the hand made meatballs and grated on fresh Parmesan cheese.  All of that with a big slice of bread made all that nasty weather fade away.  It was a wonderful night full of delicious food, special friends, laughter and love.
As you can see, my guy LOVES meatballs in mariana.  I snapped this pic right before dinner via Instagram.  Hope you all will join me there and “follow” for more fun pics!

Meatballs in Marinara

Nothing beats a plate of warm pasta and hot homemade meatballs.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Author: Donya |



  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs - beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper


  • 2 cans of San Marzano crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil - torn



  • Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. With "a cook's best tools" mix gently with your hands being careful not to over work. 
  • Using an ice cream scoop, roll mixture into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and cook at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until brown. 
  • Meatballs can be made a day ahead and stored in fridge. To serve, place meatballs in marinara sauce and simmer for 30 minutes.


  • Heat olive oil in large stock pot. 
  • Add onion and cook on medium low heat until onions are translucent. 
  • Add garlic and cook for approximately 2 minutes being careful not to burn. 
  • Add tomatoes and other ingredients - except basil. Simmer on low for 15 minutes. This can be done while meatballs are cooking in oven. 
  • When meatballs are done, add to the sauce. Right before serving, add fresh basil and serve with or without pasta and lots of grated Parmesan cheese!

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