Two Sisters, One Kitchen

Quick, healthy meals by a loving team. See what’s cooking in J & K's kitchen!

Grandma’s Ziti with Pork Meatballs, Sausage, and Sunday Sauce & Salad January 31, 2011

Jamie says:  My sister and I had a mass said at church last Sunday for my Aunt Chick who recently passed away.  We invited our two cousins who are going to school with us to come over for dinner before the mass.  I wanted to make something special, so I called my Grandma to get her famous ziti, pork meatball, sausage, and sauce recipe.  I couldn’t bring myself to buy the salt pork her recipe called for (hello, saturated fat!), but otherwise, I pretty much followed Granny’s directions. 

Grandma's Ziti with Pork Meatballs, Sausage, and Sunday Sauce

Grandma’s Ziti with Pork Meatballs, Sausage, and Sunday Sauce


  • 1 sweet onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • at least a few strands fresh parsley
  • 1 2/3 lb twice-ground lean pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup Progresso Italian style bread crumbs
  • 1.5 lbs mild Italian sausage
  • 2, 28-oz cans Cento tomato puree
  • 1 stem of fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 1 lb Ronzoni ziti
  • Parmesan cheese (or ricotta cheese) to taste


  1. Quarter an onion, and peel 1 clove of garlic.  Place a large sauce pot on medium heat.  Thinly coat the bottom of pot with extra virgin olive oil, and brown the onion.  Stir occasionally.  Add garlic when onion is almost brown. 
  2. Meanwhile, make meatballs by mincing 3 cloves of garlic.  Cut parsley.  Combine ground pork, eggs, grated cheese, fresh parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and bread crumbs.  Mix well.  Form balls, and add additional breadcrumbs to hold meatballs together as needed.
  3. Remove onions and garlic from pot and reserve in a medium bowl.  Coat bottom of pot with additional olive oil, and add meatballs.  Flip meatballs until all sides are browned and then add them to the bowl with the onions and garlic.  Again, coat bottom of pot with olive oil.  Brown sausage in oil.
  4. Add 2 cans of puree to the pot with sausage and reserved onions, garlic clove, and meatballs.  Wash one stem of basil and add the whole stem to the pot.  Reduce heat to low, add red wine, and allow to heat for an hour and a half.  A lid can be placed loosely on the pot if desired.  Stir occasionally, and taste sauce.  Add salt as needed.  
  5. Meanwhile, cook ziti according to directions on box:  In a medium pot, bring water to a boil.  Add ziti and cook for 12 minutes.  Drain, mix ziti into pot with red sauce.  Serve into bowls.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (or scoop ricotta on top).  Enjoy!  Serves: 6.

Italian Salad

Italian Salad


  • 1 Romaine heart
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 heirloom (ugly) tomato
  • 1/2 6-oz can small, ripe pitted olives
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar


  1. Chop lettuce, slice onion, and cut tomato.  Add to a large bowl.  Slice olives (or leave whole).  Add oil and vinegar.  Toss well.  Serves 6.  Enjoy!

I was told you could smell the sauce cooking from outside my apartment.  Oh how I love my Italian heritage.  We had a delicious dinner together.  It tasted pretty close to my Grandma’s traditional recipe, too!  My Mom makes my Grandma’s recipe, so now there are three generations are making this recipe.

  • Nutrition note:  Try using ground lean pork for meatballs.  It’s less fatty than ground beef.

One Response to “Grandma’s Ziti with Pork Meatballs, Sausage, and Sunday Sauce & Salad”

  1. […] and sauce from dinner last night.  Dad made the meatballs, but if your looking for a recipe, try my version of Grandma’s recipe for pork meatballs.  They’re great, too! Garlic Dill Dip/Spread on a whole wheat bun with pork meatballs, […]

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