Marinara Sauce and Meatballs

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

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I just found my Marinara sauce and meatball recipe as I was browsing through my family shoe box of recipes. These are my go-to family dinners I had to throw together on weeknights so my family of five can eat. Often times my kids would request this weekly, it became a favorite of ours. This is my take on Greek meatballs with spaghetti. The marinara sauce is quick and uses basic pantry ingredients. I make a large batch of meatballs so they may last a couple of days for snacking on, or for meatball sandwiches. Serve this with a green salad and garlic bread for a complete meal. This sauce can be used for many other recipes that call for a red sauce.  Top this sauce for eggplant parmesan, use it in a lasagna dish, or as a dip for sandwiches.

Meatball  Recipe: I would start with the meatballs. Place them in the oven and then begin the sauce.
Makes 25-28 meatballs

Meatball Recipe

This is one of my favorite family recipes served with a green salad and garlic bread.

Course dinner
Cuisine California Greek
Keyword Greek, groundbeef, meatballs, pasta sauce
Author Mary Papoulias-Platis


  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. Mix all the ingredients except the beef in a large bowl.
  2. Add the ground beef and gently mix with your hands.
  3. Shape into balls and place on baking sheet.
  4. I bake mine on a rack, but not necessary. Line the pan with a silpat or foil.
  5. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Homemade meatballs

Saute the garlic in a saucepan with the olive oil until they are slightly golden.

Homemade spaghetti sauce
Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. That’s it.

Quick Spaghetti Sauce

Note:  It can be doubled, tripled…When a recipe calls for Italian bottled sauce I use this recipe for stuffed ricotta pasta shells, lasagna, eggplant parm! Keep these ingredients on hand in your pantry for a last minute recipe. Serve this sauce with the pasta ( spaghetti, angel hair pasta, noodles) meatballs and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Marinara Sauce

Course Main or Side Dish
Cuisine California Greek
Keyword marinara, pasta sauce, tomato sauce


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 28oz. can tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound of pasta of your choice, cooked


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil and garlic, saute for 1-2 minutes. Do not brown.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.

  3. This sauce can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

  4. While the sauce is cooking boil up your pasta.

Enjoy our family recipe!


© 2011 – 2023, Mary Papoulias-Platis. All rights reserved.

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