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  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 6 cups Mama’s Marinara (recipe follows) or your favorite marinara
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the Marinara
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and chopped fine
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Chili flakes, to taste
  • 2 28-ounce cans tomato purée, Red Pack brand if possible
  • 1 28-ounce. can crushed tomatoes, Red Pack brand if possible
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste, Red Pack brand if possible
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Salt, to taste


Serves: 4


Place the chicken stock, onion, garlic and parsley in a blender or food processor and purée.

In a large bowl, combine the puréed stock mix, meat, breadcrumbs, eggs, Parmigiano-

Reggiano, red pepper flakes, parsley and salt. Combine with both hands until mixture is
uniform. Do not over mix.

Put a little olive oil on your hands and form mixture into balls a little larger than golf balls.
They should be about 1/4 cup each, though if you prefer bigger or smaller, it will only affect the
browning time.

Pour about 1/2-inch of extra virgin olive oil into a straight-sided, 10-inch-wide sauté pan and
heat over medium-high flame. Add the meatballs to the pan (working in batches if necessary)
and brown meatballs, turning once. This will take about 10-15 minutes.

While the meatballs are browning, heat the marinara sauce in a stockpot over medium heat.
Lift the meatballs out of the sauté pan with a slotted spoon and put them in the marinara sauce.
Stir gently. Simmer for one hour.

Serve with a little extra Parmigiano-Reggiano sprinkled on top. Serve alone or over spaghetti
(in which case, you will need 6 cups of marinara).

For the marinara, Cook the garlic and onion in the olive oil in a sauce pot over a medium-low flame, about 10 minutes or until garlic is tender and onions translucent, not brown (this is called "sweating" because it will draw out a lot of moisture and flavor). Add the chili flakes to taste.

Add all the tomato products. Pour the chicken stock into one of the 28-oz cans. Fill it the rest of the way with water and add that and the sugar to the pot. Stir and bring to a simmer. Taste and season with salt and cover. Simmer the sauce for about 1 hour. The sauce should be fairly thin, but not watery and very smooth. Uncover and simmer for 3 minutes if it is too thin for your taste; add a little water if it seems thick.- Yields 6 cups