- Coarsely purée tomatoes with their juice in a food processor using the pulse setting. You can also
- use a potato masher.
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic, stirring until golden brown. Add tomatoes,
- sugar, and salt.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning as needed.
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Dip bread cubes in milk and then crumble them by hand.
- Mix together all meatball ingredients except the olive oil and cheese in a large bowl.
- Cook about 30 mL (2 tbsp.) of meat mixture in the microwave or a skillet to verify seasoning. Adjust as needed.
- Make meat mixture into 4-cm (1½-in.) balls.
- Fry meatballs in the olive oil in a large skillet (in 2 or 3 batches if necessary).
- Pour tomato sauce into a gratin dish, place cooked meatballs on top, and sprinkle with grated cheese.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until cheese is melted and starts to brown. Place under the broiler if necessary.
- Serve with rapini, broccolini, or buttered short pasta.
To remove olive pits, place olives in a plastic bag and crush them using a tin can, or
simply use an olive pitter.
Use the remaining tomato sauce to prepare a quick pasta dish the next day, or freeze it.