Italian Meatball Sandwiches

1 cup dry white or a light bodied red wine
2 6 oz. cans tomato paste
1 28 oz. can ready cut roma or regular tomatoes or 2 lb. fresh roma or regular tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1 medium red or yellow onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped optional
2 large cloves fresh garlic, pressed or minced
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh basil (1 tablespoon dry)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano (1/2 tablespoon dry)
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
6 to 8 shakes chili powder or cayenne pepper
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
olive oil cooking spray

1. Lightly spray a 4 quart stock pot with olive oil cooking spray and preheat on medium. Sauté garlic 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly golden. Add tomatoes and all remaining ingredients, except fresh basil and olive oil.

2. Simmer sauce for 1 to 4 hours. Add basil and olive oil to sauce a few minutes before end of cooking time. If sauce becomes too thick add a little water or wine.

olive oil cooking spray
1 pound 97% lean ground beef or 97 to 99% lean ground turkey
1 pound 93% to 95% lean Italian turkey sausage, sweet or hot (no more than 2.5 grams fat per 1-oz serving)
2 cloves fresh garlic, pressed or minced
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups herb or garlic fat free salad croutons, processed into fine crumbs
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
1/8-teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 egg whites
6 ounces grated low fat mozzarella cheese (Frigo Truly Light – 2 grams fat per 1oz serving)
6 4-oz sourdough rolls or bread

1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Remove sausage from casings, if necessary. Mix ground beef and sausage together with garlic, onions, bread crumbs, salt, garlic powder, oregano, and egg whites until well combined. If mixture seems too dry add an additional egg white to mixture.

2. Spray a large nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray or line a regular cooking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray and set aside. Roll mixture into 2 ½ -3 inch balls, approximately, 3 ounces per meatball. Place meatballs on baking sheet and bake for approximately 30 minutes, turning over once during baking time to prevent from over cooking on bottom.

3. While meatballs are baking, cut rolls in half lengthwise cover and set aside; or for warm bread, wrap rolls in foil. Place package in oven with meatballs about 10 minutes before meatballs are finished cooking.

4. To assemble sandwiches; split meatballs in half. Top 6 roll halves with a total of 2 meatballs. Pour ½ cup hot Basic Marinara over meatballs evenly and then top sauce with ¼ cup grated cheese. Put sandwiches and extra roll halves under broiler for 1 to 2 minutes until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with other end of roll. Serve with extra sauce on the side if desired.

Yield approximately 12 large meatballs or 6 servings of 2 meatballs each combined with a 4-oz sourdough roll plus ½ cup sauce and ¼ cup grated cheese at approximately 656 calories; 10 grams total fat 3.3 grams saturated fat; 70 milligrams cholesterol; 84.5 grams carbohydrate; 6.5 grams dietary fiber; 59 grams protein; 2007 milligrams sodium.

Recipes from Lighten Up – The Art of Low Fat Gourmet Cooking, by Mary E. Ross

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