Family Sicilian Sauce and Meatballs Recipe -
Family Sicilian Sauce and Meatballs Recipe

Family Sicilian Sauce and Meatballs

Recipe by  

"My Mother's family originally came from Sicily and every family member makes his or her own version - this version came most recently via Brooklyn. Use your favorite meat and Italian red wine for this sauce and serve with your favorite pasta. This also is a great pizza sauce if you leave out about half of the meat. If there are any leftovers, they freeze very well. MANGIA!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 24 servings Change Servings


  1. To make the meatballs, combine chopped meat, eggs, bread, Romano cheese, parsley and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Form golf ball-sized meatballs; place into freezer to firm up.
  2. To make sauce, heat olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Saute onion, garlic and fry links of sausage.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, brown beef chunks and pork neck bones; reserve.
  4. When onions and garlic are done, turn heat down to low. Add tomato paste; stir and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the browned beef and pork, crushed tomatoes, wine, bay leaves, cinnamon, parsley, basil and salt and pepper to taste; stir.
  5. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown meatballs; reserve.
  6. Simmer sauce over low heat for 3 to 4 hours, add meatballs and simmer for 1 hour. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Cover pasta with sauce and meatballs, serve.
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Note
  • Remove neck bones before serving.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Apr 17, 2003

I have always considered myself an excellent saucemaker. However, I made this sauce for my Sicilian husband and he absolutely loved it! I used a little more red wine than called for to get a little different flavor. I also made it a meat sauce instead of making meatballs. I added ground beef AND ground pork to the recipe, instead of the brisket. Unbelievable! The flavor of the sauce really stuck to the pasta (I used rigatoni), and the aroma throughout the house was great. People could smell it from outside. Obviously, I can't say enough. One of the best I've ever had!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Dec 14, 2002

This may be easy for someone with more cooking experience to read between the lines. Steps MUST be missing because I had ingredients I never used. The meatballs wouldn't even stay together... i ended up throwing them out. Sorry... but this was a MESS for me (and a waste of money).


28 Ratings

Dec 10, 2006

This was amazing - the whole family felt like we were eating at a fine Italian restaurant. This recipe is not difficult and is SURE to impress others. My kids keep telling me how great it was. I don't understand how another reviewer had ingredients left over (?) she must have skipped a step because everything is used and the instructions are very descriptive.

Jan 31, 2004

If you are looking for a great tasting hearty meat sauce, then you have definitely found it. This sauce is easy to make and full of flavor...don't leave out the pork neck bones. Excellent! Mr Gerry...thank you for sharing this one!

Feb 05, 2006

my wife's family are sicilian. When I made this sauce, My father in law thought I had found out his family's secert recipe. Its a real good sauce I used ground chuck and ground pork in the sauce and meatballs. Its not as good as my father in laws , but it's damn near close.

Apr 14, 2006

Wow. This was great. I scaled the recipe down to make sure we would like it first since I didn't have all ing. on hand and I really wanted to try this recipe. I didn't have brisket and I used lean ground beef in its place. Omitted the bay leaf because we don't like, personal preference and added oregano. Used Italian Sausage I had on hand and took it out of casing. I did go out and get pork neck bones and I'm glad I did because I really think this is what adds to the flavor if using ground beef. This was really good and when I go shopping this weekend I'll pick up the original to recipe and try. Then I'll scale it up to freeze. Great flavor, thanks so much for the post.

May 13, 2008

Hardy, rich wonderful sauce, we added 1 1/2c extra Pinot noir, also because we were short on time we pressure cooked it for 40 min, then finished simmering when we added the meatballs for 30 in pressure cooker. One of the better sauces we've made from this site

Nov 24, 2002

Very very delicious. I'm not sure about the 4 onions...I used one good sized medium onion which was plenty sufficient. Wonderful house smelled like a fine Italian restaurant for 2 days!! Thank you!


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  • Calories
  • 639 kcal
  • 32%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 58.5 g
  • 19%
  • Cholesterol
  • 95 mg
  • 32%
  • Fat
  • 31.9 g
  • 49%
  • Fiber
  • 5.3 g
  • 21%
  • Protein
  • 29.1 g
  • 58%
  • Sodium
  • 841 mg
  • 34%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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