Aunt Nina’s Breadballs and Sauce

Submitted by Donna Bardocz

About the cook: I have a real passion for cooking and baking and have since I was a little girl. I find real excitement in creating or refining recipes and I spend a lot of my free time pouring over them to create new recipe ideas. And I especially love our treasured family recipes.

About the dish: This was my husband’s maternal grandmother’s recipe! It is really a unique recipe and very tasty! I serve this meatless family supper dish with a fresh salad and what a meal! For carnivores, simply serve with some Italian sausage.

National Origin: Italian

Serves: 6

Estimated Time: 1 to 2 Hours


Breadball Ingredients:
1 (16 oz) loaf of Italian Bread, dried out
1 egg
½ cup of minced onions
2 cloves garlic (peeled and smashed into paste)
1 tsp parsley, preferably fresh
1 tsp sweet basil, preferably fresh
1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano grated cheese
½ to 1 cup water (enough to wet bread)
Vegetable shortening or oil, for frying

Breadball Sauce:
1 large onion, chopped fine
3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 (12 oz) can tomato paste
3 tomato paste cans full of water
6 tablespoons sugar
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (28 oz) can of whole tomatoes
1 to 2 tsp(s) sweet basil, preferably fresh
1 to 2 tsp(s) oregano, preferably fresh
1 to 2 tsp(s) parsley, preferably fresh


Breadball Directions:
Wet the bread with enough water and the 1 egg to form a ball. Add the rest of the ingredients. Melt enough shortening (over low heat) or vegetable oil to come just 1/8-inch up the side of a 12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy fry pan. Once shortening liquefies, if using, raise heat to 325 degrees F. Do not allow oil to go over 325 degrees F. Fry breadballs until golden brown. Cool and add to sauce. Breadballs can be frozen (add to the sauce frozen and cook for 1 hour).

Breadball Sauce Directions:
Cook Sauce on low for 1 to 2 hours, stirring often. Add prepared Breadballs to the sauce and serve with baked fresh Sweet Italian Sausage, if desired.

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