Papa Vento's Sugo and Meatballs

Papa Vento's Sugo and Meatballs

My Dad's sauce and meatballs is the one I'm always asked to bring/cater to everybody's functions. Some have tried to make it themselves but say it never turns out the same as mine so I get to do the work. I'm sure any of you can make it!



  • 3 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 4 small (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 2 small (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons regular or garlic salt
  • 3 tablespoons sweet basil
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons dry white wine or vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar


    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 1 slice white bread, crust trimmed
    • 1 pound ground pork or beef
    • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
    • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
    • 1/3 cup fresh parmesan
    • 1 egg
    • Salt and black pepper
    • Flour and oil


    1. Sugo: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender. Add garlic and sauté until the onion just BEGINS to turn golden.
    2. Add the paste (and 1 can of water for every can of paste) and the tomato sauce stirring until blended. Add the salt, pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer (low boil) for 20 minutes (scraping off any foam that develops on top.) Add basil and simmer for 3 hours.
    3. Taste and add additional seasoning if needed. Add the wine and sugar and meatballs. Simmer an additional 2 to 3 hours to desired thickness.
    4. Meatballs: Warm milk in a small saucepan. Add bread to absorb milk. Squeeze excess milk from bread. In a medium bowl, with your hands, mix the next 5 ingredients with the bread until blended together. Form balls the size of golf balls. Put flour into a small bowl and roll balls in the flour. Shake excess.

    5. In a large skillet, Heat oil 1/4- to 1/2-inch deep, over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and brown on all sides. Put the meatballs into the spaghetti sauce and simmer the last 2 to 4 hours. (They'll be more tender the longer you cook them.)
    6. Serve over pasta.


    Use this sauce for eggplant Parmigiana, lasagna or and other dish that requires spaghetti sauce. Put browned meatballs or Italian sausage in to the sauce the last 3 hours of cooking. Put an uncooked chuck roast into it for the last 3 to 4 hours, shred and return to pot for a shredded beef sauce. Add browned ground beef the last 30 minutes for a beef sauce.

    You can broil the meatballs, then simmer in the sauce for a meatball with less fat, but I like this recipe (fried) because its texture is outstanding and the flavor is...well...make them and see for yourself!

    Posted by artsycook (Lisa Stapor) at Recipe Goldmine 6/11/01 3:53:19 pm.

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