(Prep Time: 30 minutes. Cooking Time: 45 minutes)
1 cup uncooked rice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped and divided
2 – 15 ounce cans tomato sauce
1 Tablespoon, oregano
2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1 teaspoon, sugar
1 pound ground round
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley
1. Cook rice according to package directions.
2. Using a large skillet, heat olive oil and sauté half of the onions. Add one can (not both!) of the tomato sauce, the oregano, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper and the sugar. Simmer on low for 5 minutes and turn off heat. This forms the sauce that your meatballs will simmer in.
3. In a large mixing bowl, place the meat, rice, the remaining onions, the rest of the salt and pepper and the parley. Using your hands (I use disposable rubber gloves for this!) Mix the meat well and divide the meat mixture into 8 equal portions. Form each portion into a large meatball.
4. Place the formed meatballs in the tomato mixture in the skillet and pour the remaining can of tomato sauce over the top of the meatballs. Cover pan and simmer on medium-low for 30-45 minutes. You can baste and turn the meatballs occasionally using 2 large spoons. Monitor the liquid in the bottom of the pan while cooking. If the liquid is getting low you can turn down the heat, uncover the pan a little or add more tomato sauce. Serve with lots of freshly ground black pepper.
Make ahead tip. The meatballs can be prepped and placed in the pan in the refrigerator until 50 minutes before you want to serve dinner. Cook as directed.