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gluten free pasta with meatballs and sausage

Gluten Free Pasta with Meatballs and Sausage

Spaghetti and meatballs, ragu, spaghetti sauce, Sunday gravy--whatever you call it, gluten free pasta with meatballs and sausage is a hearty, flavorful meal that will feed a crowd and satisfy everyone.  There's a secret ingredient in the sauce that'll make you say "Hmmm...what is that?"
Print Recipe
CourseMain Course
KeywordGluten Free Pasta with Meatballs and Sausage
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 30 minutes
Servings15 servings



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dried oregano (sounds like a lot, but trust me)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 beef marrow bone
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup gluten free bread crumbs or gluten free Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

To serve:

  • 2 lbs pasta of choice
  • 2 lbs mild or hot Italian sausage links
  • extra Parmigiano Reggiano for sprinkling


For the sauce:

  • Heat olive oil in large dutch oven over medium heat.  Add garlic and beef marrow bone and saute briefly,  Don't allow garlic to brown.  
  • Add red wine and deglaze the pan.  
  • Slowly add the cans of tomato sauce and paste and then fill both empty tomato sauce cans with water and add water to the sauce mixture.  
  • Add all other herbs and spices and bring to a boil.  Reduce temperature and simmer for roughly 2-3 hours, partially covered with lid.  Stir every 15-20 minutes.

For the meatballs and sausage:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • In large bowl, mix together all meatball ingredients.  Hands are the best tools for this.  Don't overmix.  
  • Roll into balls roughly the size of golf balls.  Place meatballs on rimmed baking sheet, spaced apart for even browning.
  • Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and sizzling.  
  • While meatballs are baking, heat skillet over medium heat and add Italian sausage links.  Saute for a few minutes per side until all links are nicely browned.  
  • Remove from skillet onto paper towels and let cool slightly.  Cut in half, or in thirds and add to sauce.  Also add meatballs to the sauce at this time.   
  • Continue to cook sauce for another hour or two, stirring every 15-20 minutes.  
  • Serve over pasta.  Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and fresh parsley.  


  • If you don't want to make meatballs, you can always just brown the ground beef and bulk Italian sausage with the garlic and olive oil, before adding the red wine.  Proceed as directed.  This makes an incredibly yummy meat sauce that can be served over pasta or made into baked ziti, lasagna, or any other dish calling for meat sauce.  My mom never made meatballs when we were growing up.  She did it this way and we all loved it!  Her lasagna is legendary in our family (recipe coming soon).  
  • Leftover sauce can be frozen.  Cool to room temperature and put sauce in gallon ziploc baggies.  Lie them flat in the freezer.  When reheating, cut sides of bag and add to large saucepan with about 1/2 cup of water.  Heat on medium low until warmed through.