Gambino family sauce & meatball recipe.


I grew up in the most basic, tiny (I mean seriously tiny) kitchen with two amazing cooks that shaped my life by turning out mouth-watering, delectable foods.  I’ve taken those recipes and put my fingerprint on them and today, my family enjoys my grandmother & aunt’s food with a touch of me.  Now, I don’t stick with one specific hardcore recipe.  I morph recipes to suit my mood.  This recipe represents me today.

Sauce and meatballs to an Italian, are staples, much like a chicken soup is when you’re sick.  I strive to be healthy, working out and eating right but I will NEVER give up pasta.  I can’t even fathom how to do that.  With that, here is my recipe.



3/4 cup of bread crumbs or panko (seasoned or plain)
1 egg
2 teaspoons of salt
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 of a yellow onion, finely diced
Hot pepper flakes
1/2 lb of each – ground sirloin, ground pork and ground veal


In a large mixing bowl, add the bread crumbs, egg, salt, pepper, garlic, onion and hot pepper flakes.  Once mixed, add the meat and blend well without over-mixing.

In a large skillet with about 1/2 cup of olive oil, heat over medium flame.  Once hot, use a melon baller and scoop out the meatballs and place into the skillet cautiously (the oil may spray up).  Cook until a nice crust is on each side (about 2-3 minutes).  Then remove and place on a paper towel lined plate tto soak up the excess oil.  Work in batches and avoid over-crowding.  Once all of the meatballs are browned, gently place them in the sauce to finish cooking.  Be cautious when stirring not to break them up.



1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
4-6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped into small pieces
2 cans of San Marzano crushed tomatoes (28 ounces each)
1 can of tomato paste
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of a better quality red wine
Salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes (to taste)
3 tablespoons of dried parsley or 1/4 cup of fresh
2 tablespoons of Italian Seasonings
Olive oil
Optional:  grated parmesan (for garnishing)
Fresh basil (for garnishing)


In a large Dutch oven (I used Le Creuset) over medium heat,  pour about a tablespoon of olive oil into the bottom of your pan.  Add your onion, garlic, carrots and green peppers.  Cook this down for about 6-8 minutes.  Then add the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a simmer and then turn down to the lowest setting.  Cover and simmer for at least 3+ hours.  I normally let this simmer for about 6 hours.

Cook your favorite pasta according to package instructions.  Top with your sauce and enjoy!  Grate parmesan atop if you prefer or add fresh basil.


4 thoughts on “Gambino family sauce & meatball recipe.

  1. What a wonderful recipe. My family loves homemade meatballs and sauce and your recipe sounds absolutely delicious. I hope to be able to make it sometime this weekend along with some homemade bread sticks. Thank you so much for sharing a little part of your world with us. I so much enjoy collecting recipes from all over the country, actually from all over the world. I have friends who are from Messina Italy and I’m sure they will enjoy this recipe also. Thanks again and have a great weekend.

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