Feed a crowd of 8 or cook 6 ounces pasta to serve 4 and freeze half the meatball mixture for later. Spoon into whole-wheat hoagie rolls instead of over pasta.

Hands-on Time: 1 Hour

Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Mins

Yield: Serves 8 (serving size: 5 meatballs, about 3/4 cup sauce, and about 3/4 cup pasta)



SAUCE: 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup dry red wine
2 (15-ounce) cans unsalted crushed tomatoes 
2 (14.5-ounce) cans unsalted diced tomatoes, undrained1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
MEATBALLSCooking spray
2 (1-ounce) slices whole-grain bread
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 pounds 90% lean ground sirloin
6 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
12 ounces uncooked whole-grain spaghetti

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare sauce, heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add 1 cup chopped onion, 5 garlic cloves, and basil to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 450°.

Step 3

To prepare meatballs, coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. Tear bread into pieces, and place in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until fine crumbs form. Place breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/3 cup parsley, and next 6 ingredients (through eggs) in a large bowl; stir until combined. Shape into 40 meatballs (about 2 tablespoons each); arrange meatballs on prepared pans. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes. Add meatballs to tomato sauce; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Follow freezing instructions, or continue recipe.

Step 4

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Top pasta with meatball mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 3 tablespoons parsley.