Maw Maw’s Meatballs and Sauce

I call these Maw Maw’s Meatballs although, they’re not really. These are the new and improved gluten free version! Never mind the fact that no one REALLY knows her real recipe because she never wrote it down. I wish she could taste these and tell me what she thought about them, because she would, tell me what she really thought. God I miss her and I hope she’d be proud of the little cook I’ve become.

Maw Maw's Meatballs and Sauce

  • Servings: about 6, makes 16 meatballs
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For Meatballs:

2 lbs 85/15 grass fed ground beef (easiest to work if you let sit out of fridge for about 15 min)

2 eggs

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 celery ribs, minced

scant handful of celery leaves, finely choppped

white and light green parts of a bundle of green onions, minced

1/4 c almond flour

1/4 c Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (optional)

salt and pepper

olive oil for sautéing and browning.

For Sauce:

2 tetra packs of Hunt’s tomato sauce

6 oz can Hunt’s tomato paste

1 bay leaf

4 garlic cloves, minced

white and light green parts of a bundle of green onions, minced

olive oil for sauteing

1/4 cup of Pecorino Romano (optional, you can even add the rind if you wanna get crazy)


For Meatballs:

Saute celery and green onions in a little olive oil until soft, add garlic last minute or so. Let cool.

In a large bowl, stir together garlic mixture and the rest of ingredients, except the meat, until combined. Add meat and combine with hands, trying not to overwork. Form into 16 meatballs (about 1/4 cup or 2 oz each).

In a non stick frying pan, heat up some olive oil over medium to medium high heat. Brown meatballs on all sides until golden brown in batches to avoid overcrowding. You want them to feel pretty firm before putting in sauce so they don’t fall apart. Finish cooking low and slow in the sauce at a simmer. Meatballs will be done when no longer pink. This takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

For Sauce:

Saute onions in a little olive oil until soft on med heat in a pot or dutch oven. Add garlic last minute or so, being careful not to overcook garlic (do not let brown).

Add sauce and bay leaf to pot. Add tomato paste, fill tomato paste can with water and add that too.

Let simmer for a few hours (with or without meatballs).

Top everything with freshly chopped basil and Pecorino Romano and serve over spinach, zoodles, or pasta of your choice!


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