mushroom meatballs and tomato sauce

Adapted from New York Times and All Recipes.

Mushroom Meatballs


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • 1 oz parmesan, finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 eggs, divided
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 pinch dried oregano


  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms to the hot oil, sprinkle with salt, and cook and stir until liquid from mushrooms has evaporated. Stir butter into mushrooms, reduce heat to medium, and cook and stir mushrooms until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir onion into mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir garlic into mushroom mixture until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl.
  3. Mix flax meal into mushroom mixture until thoroughly combined. Allow to cool. Gently stir parmesan cheese into mixture. Add bread crumbs, 1/4 cup parsley, and 1 egg; season with salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and oregano. Mix together with a fork until crumbly. Stir in remaining 1 egg. Mixture should hold together when pressed.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours. For best flavor and texture, refrigerate overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  6. Form mixture into small meatballs using a 2-tablespoon scoop. Roll meatballs lightly between your hands until smooth, if desired; arrange meatballs on prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until meatballs are lightly golden brown, 12-15 minutes.
  8. Bring pasta sauce (recipe below) to a boil in a large saucepan; reduce heat to low. Gently stir meatballs into sauce until coated. Simmer meatballs in sauce until cooked through, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with parmesan cheese, freshly ground pepper, and parsley.

Serves 4.

Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce


  • 28 oz can san marzano tomatoes, no salt or herbs added
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled (optional)
  • kosher salt


  1. Put a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes, butter, onion halves, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, and then lower the heat. Crush the tomatoes lightly with the back of a spoon as they cook, and stir occasionally. Simmer very gently for 45 minutes, or until droplets of fat appear on the surface of the tomatoes.
  2. Before serving, either remove and the onion and garlic and discard or chop and return to the sauce.

Serves 2-3.

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