Linguine & Meatballs; tomato soup sauce?

I have, occasionally, talked about things that are different here.

One that I don’t think I’ve mentioned is ground beef.

Standard packaging in the U.S. is (or, at least, used to be) 1lb, 16oz.

Even when I was a child and was sent to the butcher to buy freshly ground beef I always got ‘a pound.’

Here it’s 350gr or 12oz,

As it turns out, that is exactly the right amount for two people.

How did they know?

Now you know why my recipes usually call for 12oz of ground beef….

Linguine & Meatballs

Total time: 45 minutes


  • Meatballs:
  • 12oz (360gr) ground beef
  • 2 tbs bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 tbs ketchup
  • 1 tbs red wine
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Sauce:
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240gr) tomatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) red wine
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 4oz (120gr) linquini

Linguine & Meatballs


  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Meatballs:
  • In medium bowl lightly beat the egg with a fork.
  •  Add remaining ingredients for meatballs, except beef, and mix well.
  •  Add beef and mix well.
  • Form into meatballs, about 1″ (2.5cm) in diameter. You should have about 16. Set aside.
  • Sauce:
  • Heat 1 tbs oil in large nonstick skillet.
  • Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, paprika and sauté for 5 minutes longer
  • Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, wine, herbs and bring to a simmer.
  • When simmering, add the meatballs, cover and cook  10 minutes.
  • Uncover, gently turn the meatballs, and continue to cook, uncovered, until sauce thickens and meatballs are done, about 10 minutes longer
  • Spoon over linguine and serve

Print Recipe

Just one more anecdote before I get myself to the kitchen to trim fresh artichokes and asparagus for dinner (jealous?).

As I was writing this recipe I remembered an argument between 2 friends of mine. They were debating how to make a proper sauce for meatballs.

After one friend listed such things as fresh tomatoes, garlic, herbs, tomato paste, etc. the other said that his sauce was much better and all he used was canned, condensed tomato soup.

I never tried it….

And I never tasted his….

Last update on March 30, 2018

8 thoughts on “Linguine & Meatballs; tomato soup sauce?”

  1. YES (jealous).
    They knew because the French don’t super size.
    I’m sure the fresh tomato soup I make in my super blender on soup speed with the proper season would make a good sauce for meat balls … but it’s not from a canned soup.

  2. As a chef in kitchens that are not always stocked properly ( orders arriving late or things forgotten or left off the order) or having to deal with some other emergency situation I have had to use unconventional things as substitutes. One time we didn’t have enough of the normal ingredients to make spaghetti sauce and yes we added canned tomato soup to it…it worked but only because of the added spices and it was used mostly as an extender when we just didn’t have enough tomato sauce for our need. In general? NO WAY!

    • As an extender – or even a base with many modifications in desperate times, yes, I could see it. But this was allowed to shine in all it;s glory (?)

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