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Ziti with Tomato Sauce and Meatballs (From Onions and Garlic: Healthy Cousins 7-8/05)

Joe George
Prep Time
1 and 1/2 hours
Number of Servings
makes 2-4 servings
1 small onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup red wine
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
1-1/2 cups tomato puree
For the meatballs:
1/2 small onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 large egg
1 slice wheat bread, crust removed and torn into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
olive oil for sauteing
To complete the dish:
1/2 pound ziti
grated Pecorino Romano cheese
crushed hot pepper

For the sauce: Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a small sauce pot. Add the onion and saute until translucent, but not browned. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute. Stir in the sugar, basil, salt, and pepper; saute another minute. Add the red wine, and allow it to simmer for 30 seconds. Stir in the broth and tomato puree. Bring the sauce to a slow simmer.

For the meatballs: Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl, and knead them for a minute or two, or until they are a homogenous mass. Roll the meat into 16 mini meatballs. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Place the meatballs in the hot oil and brown them on all sides. Remove the meatballs from the skillet and transfer them to the sauce. Simmer the meatballs in the sauce for 45 minutes. If the sauce becomes too thick add water or broth until desired consistency.

Cook the ziti in plenty of boiling water until al dente. Drain the pasta thoroughly, then transfer it to a large bowl. Pour the sauce and meatballs over the pasta; toss until combined. Serve while hot with grated cheese and crushed red pepper.