You can use purchased sauce here, and add a can of tomato puree doctored up with Italian seasoning. Serve on crusty rolls or over pasta.
6 large slices white bread, torn into pieces (enough to make 2 cups of crumbs)
2 extra-large eggs
4 tablespoons milk
1 medium onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
3/4 pound bulk Italian sausage (or remove meat from links)
1 26-ounce jar prepared tomato pasta sauce
1 14-ounce can tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
Italian seasoning to taste (oregano, basil, salt, pepper)
Mozzarella or provolone cheese slices
Baguettes or crusty rolls
To make meatballs: Pulse bread in food processor to make soft crumbs (not too fine). Combine bread crumbs, eggs, milk, onion, garlic, herbs, cheese, salt and pepper in large bowl. Combine well. Add meat and gently mix with hands. Form into 3-inch balls (makes about 2 dozen). Set out on sheet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat and brown meatballs on all sides, working in batches (do not crowd skillet), about 5 minutes per batch until all meatballs are browned. Remove to a foil-lined baking sheet with a rack. Bake for 20 minutes until done.
Meanwhile, combine tomato sauce, puree and spices, and gently heat in large pot. Remove meatballs from oven and add to warm tomato sauce. Let simmer lightly in sauce for at least 30 minutes.
To serve: Split crusty rolls or baguette cut into sandwich-sized pieces. Warm in 350-degree oven, then fill with meatballs and sauce. Top with cheese and return to oven until cheese melts.
Makes 24 meatballs.
Per serving (per meatball without cheese or rolls):
144 calories; 7 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat; 44 percent calories from fat); 11 g carbohydrates; 42 mg cholesterol; 401 mg sodium; 10 g protein; 1.5 g fiber.