Meatballs Three Ways: Sauce for Meatballs

San Marzano tomatoes give this sauce a special taste. It’s perfect for meatballs and more! Try it with one of these three meatball recipes: Meatball Sliders, Roasted Entrée Meatballs or Mini Meatball Dumplings.


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed (1/3 palmful)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Fresno chili pepper or 1 Italian cherry chili pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, grated or very finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cans San Marzano tomatoes (28 ounces each)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 small sprigs fresh marjoram or oregano, leaves finely chopped
  • A small handful of parsley, chopped
  • A few leaves of basil, torn


Heat the EVOO in a large Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat. Add the fennel, garlic, chili pepper and onion and stir 5 for minutes. Add the wine and tomatoes, breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, marjoram or oregano, parsley and basil. Bring to a bubble, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and reduce the sauce for 30-45 minutes before serving.

What's Fresh from @RachaelRay

Rachael Ray