A typical homemade sauce simmers for hours on the stove top to meld flavors. Roasting a mixture of fresh and canned tomatoes, chopped garlic, and fresh herbs on a sheet pan gets you there in only 20 minutes.

Kathy Gunst
Source: Better Homes and Gardens


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • For meatballs: In a large bowl combine ricotta, egg, parsley, 2 tablespoons basil, the sage, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Add ground beef; gently mix until just combined. Form into twenty-four 1-inch meatballs.

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. For sauce: In a 15x10-inch pan combine cherry and crushed tomatoes, garlic, remaining basil, and the parsley. Roast 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Season with 1/4 tsp. each salt and black pepper. For a smooth sauce, use an immersion blender or a blender to puree.

  • Meanwhile, place panko in a shallow dish. Working in batches, add meatballs; roll gently to coat.

  • In a large skillet heat oils over medium-high. Working in batches, cook meatballs 4 minutes each side or until golden brown and cooked through (160°F). Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Cover, keep warm.

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boiling. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Toss pasta with sauce, top with meatballs, and, if desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Makes 5 servings.

To freeze meatballs:

Prepare meatballs through Step 1. Cover and chill up to 1 day. To freeze, place on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Freeze 4 to 6 hours or until firm. Transfer to a freezer bag; freeze up to 6 months. Before cooking, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

To Bake Meatballs

Lightly oil a 15x10-inch baking pan. Place panko-coated meatballs on prepared pan. Bake in a 425°F oven for 16 minutes until done (160°F), turning once.

Nutrition Facts

677 calories; 29 g total fat; 9 g saturated fat; 2 g polyunsaturated fat; 13 g monounsaturated fat; 115 mg cholesterol; 798 mg sodium. 891 mg potassium; 73 g carbohydrates; 6 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 35 g protein; 1 g trans fatty acid; 1259 IU vitamin a; 26 mg vitamin c; 0 mg thiamin; 0 mg riboflavin; 6 mg niacin equivalents; 0 mg vitamin b6; 48 mcg folate; 2 mcg vitamin b12; 227 mg calcium; 7 mg iron;