Rotini and Meatballs


If you have never made homemade meatballs in marina sauce, you should definitely give it a try, you will be pleased with the results!  This meal is hearty and brings back memories of making spaghetti for my parents whenever they craved something American to eat.  This is a recipe from Cooking Light that I adjusted because I felt the original lacked a bit of flavor.  It also allowed me to cheat a little; the tomato paste with pesto and the canned tomatoes with basil added so much flavor that I didn’t need to add much else to the sauce.  I used rotini pasta because I felt the shape would gather more scrumptious sauce, but you can substitute it with spaghetti. Oh, if you can find white basaltic, it is worth it, but apple cider vinegar will work in a pinch.


  •   2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  •   1 cup finely chopped onion
  •   3 garlic cloves, minced
  •   2 tablespoons tomato paste with pesto ( like Contadina)
  •   1/2 teaspoon salt
  •   1 (14-ounce) can less-sodium beef broth
  •   2  (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes with basil, undrained and chopped
  •   1 tblespoon apple cider vinegar or white balsalmic vinegar











  • 1 (1-ounce) slice white bread
  • 3 (4-ounce) links mild turkey Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground sirloin

Remaining ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 pound hot cooked rotini pasta
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Fresh parsley sprigs (optional)



  1. To prepare sauce, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1 cup onion; sauté for 3 minutes. Add 3 garlic cloves, and sauté 1 minute. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and broth. Cook 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and vinegar. Reduce heat, and simmer 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Preheat broiler.
  3. To prepare meatballs, place bread in a food processor, and process until fine crumbs measure 1/2 cup. Combine the breadcrumbs, sausage, 1/2 cup onion, and next 8 ingredients (through sirloin) in a bowl. With wet hands, shape sirloin mixture into 32 meatballs. Place meatballs on a broiler pan. Broil 15 minutes or until done. Add meatballs to sauce; simmer 15 minutes. . Serve over rotini pasta sprinkled with basil, parsley, and cheese. Serves 8

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