An easy recipe for pork meatballs in tomato sauce, this meatball dish can be made with leftover meatballs as well.
These pork meatballs in tomato sauce are a very quick meal to put on your table, especially when you are using leftovers meatballs.
And if you want to be really quick, then grab a jar of previously made tomato or marinara sauce as well. Or a bought tomato sauce jar, of course, you could use that too, although I always say that homemade tastes better. But exceptions can be made.
The pork meatballs in tomato sauce or chiftelute marinate are another classic Romanian recipe, I think everybody in Romania knows them. My grandmother used to cook them often as well and the dish was always made with leftover meatballs, I honestly believe she never cooked fresh meatballs for this dish.
When making meatballs my grandmother always made a lot of them, she always said that if the house had to smell of fried meatballs than it should be well worth it (same logic when making crepes, we would eat cold and rather dry crepes for 3 days in a row).
As it was only the two of us, those many meatballs would last for days and we would eat the leftover meatballs mostly cold with bread, mustard and tomatoes. I still love to eat them like that today, so I always make more meatballs than we could eat at once as well.
But on the third day or so, she would often make pork meatballs in tomato sauce or chiftelute marinate. She would make a quick tomato sauce, warm the meatballs in it and always serve the dish with mashed potatoes on the side. A real childhood favorite. I hope you enjoy it!
HOW TO MAKE PORK MEATBALLS IN TOMATO SAUCE?
Super quick version:
Leftover meatballs + a jar of marinara sauce. Heat the meatballs in the sauce. Serve.
Pork meatballs in tomato sauce from scratch:
Tomato or marinara sauce:
This is a rather typical recipe for tomato or marinara sauce. And as marinara sauce is actually a tomato sauce, I have always wondered why is it called marinara in the US. Marinara makes me think there should be fish involved, which it isn’t…
Ok, I’ve just googled that and found out that I have always been making marinara sauce without even knowing it.
There is a difference between a simple tomato sauce: tomatoes + salt + pepper and marinara sauce: tomatoes + olive oil + garlic + chili + salt + pepper + basil. The only thing I may or may not use is basil, depending if I have it fresh or not, dried basil is never an option.
And it is called marinara because, apparently (probably a legend), the sauce was invented by mariners returning from America with the newly discovered tomatoes.
- This is also a rather typical recipe for making meatballs, similar to these pork and beef meatballs or these Turkish beef kofta.
- The only thing that might be different than usual is the fact that you will have to cook the chopped onions slightly before adding them to the ground meat mixture.
- I don’t always do that, but it is actually recommendable, it helps avoiding larger pieces of rather uncooked onion in your mouth. If you are positive that you have chopped the onions as finely as possible, you might leave out this extra step.
Fry the meatballs:
- Fry the meatballs in batches in a hot cast iron or non stick pan. Add more oil between the batches, if necessary.
- The pork meatballs are flat and small, so they will not need to cook for long.
- Cook them on medium low heat and for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are deeply browned on the outside.
- Check one to make sure that they are cooked through.
- Place the pork meatballs in the hot sauce and stir well to coat the meatballs with the sauce.
How to serve the pork meatballs:
Serve the pork meatballs in tomato sauce over mashed potatoes (my favorite way), over spaghetti or other types of noodles (even zucchini noodles), over rice or eat simply with a slice of yogurt bread.
Any type of green salad is a good side dish, our favorite is the one with yogurt dressing.
How to use the pork meatballs:
Or you can use the meatballs (cold) to make delicious sandwiches. Stuff the pork meatballs into split baguettes, which you’ve previously smeared with some good mustard, add lettuce leaves, shredded veggies, some hot sauce and even a little cheese, if you like. So good!
How to use the marinara sauce:
I think anybody can think of at least 3 ways of using marinara sauce. Here are my ideas:
PIN IT FOR LATER!
Recipe from scratch:
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4
Serving Size: 1/4 of the dish
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 595 Total Fat: 40g Saturated Fat: 11g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 25g Cholesterol: 164mg Sodium: 712mg Carbohydrates: 21g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 7g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 37g