By Chef Alli

Meatballs and Fresh Basil Tomato Sauce

Meatballs and Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce | Chef Alli | Kansas Living



  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • ½ - 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chiffonade
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 


  • 16 oz. ground sirloin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan
  • ½ tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 slice white bread, torn into small pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish  


In a large mixing bowl, combine sirloin with egg, parsley, parmesan, fennel seeds and bread; mix well, then season with salt and pepper. Shape mixture into meatballs approx. 1 ½ -2 inches in size and place into a greased baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 450 degree F. oven, until nicely browned. 

In a saute pan or skillet, cook bacon until crispy over medium-high heat; remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. In bacon drippings, cook onion over medium heat until translucent, approx. 6-8 minutes. Stir in garlic and continue to cook another 30 seconds, or just until garlic is fragrant. Add tomatoes, parsley, sugar and pepper flakes. Simmer 15-20 minutes; stir in basil, then season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. 

Remove cooked meatballs from any fats that have accumulated in the baking dish and place meatballs into prepared Tomato Basil Sauce; simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve garnished with Parmesan, if desired.


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  • Chef Alli

    Chef Alli is a wife, mom and chef. She's been stirring up a love of farm fresh cooking for more than a decade.  To see more of Alli's recipes, go to