Meatball Subs and Marinara Sauce

Ooh…these were good. Even my picky eater enjoyed these, which is always a great because she often refuses to eat anything new. Another great thing about these recipes is that they made enough to become spaghetti and meatballs with marinara for last nights dinner. I’m so happy that my husband who hates spaghetti loved eating that meal too. Maybe it’s because this was all from scratch and not from a jar or package. I love being able to cook like this for my family and what makes that even better is that I thoroughly enjoy the process of it. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Meatballs – adapted from The Comfort is Always Here

  • 1/2 lb of ground beef
  • 3 Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 slices of white bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 shallot, grated
  • Italian loaf of bread, or Italian rolls
  • 4 slices of mozzarella cheese per sandwich

Warm your marinara sauce in a deep skillet or a large saucepan while you prepare your meatball mixture.

Begin by soaking the bread in the milk for a few minutes. In a large bowl, add the meat, eggs, basil, seasonings, cheese and grated shallot. Squeeze the milk from the bread and add to the bowl. Thoroughly combine all ingredients, but be careful not to over-mix. Next form your balls and think about the size of them as you will place them onto the sub.

Cook your meatballs right in the sauce. Make sure the meatball is completely covered, and continue to cook on simmer for about 45 minutes, or longer.

When you are ready to make your sub, you have a couple of options. I hollowed out the top of mine, thinking I could place the cheese on the bottom, fill with meatballs, and place a couple of more slices of mozzarella on top. The choice is yours. You decide.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Add two slices of cheese to the bottom of the bread, and cook in the oven for about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the oven, and set your broiler. Add the meatballs to the top of the cheese, cover with two more slices of the cheese, and place under the broiler. Watch it carefully – the toasty goodness happens quick!

Marinara Sauce – adapted from

  • 3 -4 tablespoons olive oil (I use enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of my pot)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 -6 garlic cloves, minced (or to taste, the more the better I use 6 extra large cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional or adjust to taste)
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste (can use two cans for a thicker richer sauce if desired)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole roma tomatoes, undrained (break up with a fork before cooking, go ahead and use two cans if desired!)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup dry red wine (you may omit if desired but good to add in, can use white wine)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (optional or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste, a good tomato sauce needs lots so don’t be shy with the salt)
  • fresh ground pepper

In a heavy bottomed stock pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic, dried herbs and pepper flakes saute for 3-4 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add canned tomatoes and wine and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 – 2 hours stirring occasionally. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. You can add more water if you prefer a thinner sauce.


7 thoughts on “Meatball Subs and Marinara Sauce

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