gluten and dairy free meatballs in sauce

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1.5-2 hours
  • Serves 8


For the Meatballs:

  • 1lb grass fed beef
  • 3/4 cup raw ground almonds or almond meal (I use my NutriBullet to grind my own)
  • 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley finely chopped or 1 tbsp dry
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  •  1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 beaten pastured egg
  • 1 tsp good Parmesan cheese (if dairy free - skip) 

For the Sauce:

  • one large onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 28 oz cans whole peeled tomatoes crushed by hand
  • 1/2 cup Chianti or red wine of your choice (not sweet)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil plus extra for the end
  • 2 tsp salt divided
  • 1-2 tsp sugar (I use sugar in the raw)


Heat a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, and onion and saute until translucent. Add 1/2 tsp of salt to sweat the onion. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, add the wine and deglaze. Next, break the tomatoes with your hands as you add them to the pot. Include tomato juices as well. Add the sugar, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and bay leaf. Simmer for 1.5 hours. Stir occasionally, while breaking up the tomatoes with a slotted spoon.

While the sauce is simmering, get to work on the meatballs. 

For the almonds, I used my NutriBullet to pulverize them or you can use a food processor. Almond meal will be even quicker if you want to skip grinding your own. Combine all meatball ingredients without overworking the meat. Form into 1.5" meatballs. Next add the tomato paste and nestle the meatballs in the sauce and simmer for an additional 30-45 minutes.

Finish with additional fresh basil. Serve over top of rice spaghetti or zoodles (or regular if not Gluten Free).