One of the things we do miss is “Spaghetti Night” since we are trying to keep the carbs down.  No fear, this recipe will make you forget about the noodles!

Meatballs with Tomato Sauce and Wilted Spinach

First, prepare the tomato sauce.  This is an easy sauce from canned tomatoes, but you can use whatever sauce your heart desires…

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 28-oz can of Muir Glen Fire-Roasted, Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion, chopped (I like to use sweet onions)
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 t hot red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  1. Cook onion in olive oil until softened.  Add garlic and cook another minute, stirring to avoid burning garlic.
  2. Add tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and salt.  Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

While the tomato sauce is simmering, prepare the meatballs.  This is my least favorite part of the recipe because it’s tedious and messy (I mentioned I am lazy), but it’s gotta be done!

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef (preferably grass-fed)
  • 1 lb veal
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 2T sour cream
  • approx. 1 T Ratatouille Seasoning (The Spice House) or blend of dried oregano, thyme, marjoram, etc.
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Coconut oil or olive oil, for cooking
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together with your hands until well combined.
  3. Roll the mixture into meatballs (approximately 1 1/2 inch in diameter).
  4. Heat about 1 T oil in a saute pan over medium high heat.  (A non-stick pan will help keep the meatballs from breaking when you turn them.)  Add the meatballs in batches and cook until the first side is browned, then turn them to brown on all sides.  Place cooked meatballs in a baking dish; continue until all meatballs are browned.
  5. When sauce is done, pour over the meatballs.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until sauce is reduced to your satisfaction.
  6. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes to avoid injury.
See, this is messy –

While the meatballs are cooling, you will have plenty of time to saute spinach.

Spinach Ingredients

  • Baby spinach, washed and spun dry (I used about 20 ounces, which was barely enough for 2 people.)
  • Butter and/or olive oil, about 3 T total
  • dash of salt, pepper, dash of balsamic vinegar

Note: If making the spinach for another dish, I would also add about 2 cloves of minced garlic.  However since the meatballs and tomato sauce already were garlic’ed up, I didn’t add more.

  1. Heat butter and/or olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add spinach by the handfuls and toss until wilted.  Keeping adding until all the spinach is wilted, then season with salt, pepper, and vinegar to taste.

Now it’s ready to eat!  Put it in a bowl and add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese!

And while the lady was busy in the kitchen, I had ladies busy on the stereo!

First up, Etta James with Seven Year Itch:


Great record with Muscle Shoals players backing her up.

And then, one of my favorite singers ever, Maria Muldaur with Southland of the Heart


Yummy meatballs, savory spinach, red wine and a pair of songbirds…what more do you need?


2 thoughts on “Meatballs!

  1. Mmmm. Meatballs sound good. I had a hankering for them earlier this week, but my recipe didn’t turn out so well. Will try this one next! And nice music!

  2. Yum! Y’all, I can’t wait to try this—I will skip Maria, however, and stick to Etta! 🙂

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