Mary Scinto’s Italian Tomato Sauce and Meatballs

Mary Scinto’s Italian Tomato Sauce and Meatballs

This recipe is Mary Scinto’s Italian Tomato Sauce and Meatballs. Ms. Scinto’s parents came through Ellis Island in 1929 from Castelfranco, Benevento, Italy.

Her husband’s grandparents came earlier from the same town.

Mary Scinto’s Italian Tomato Sauce

1 16 oz. can of Italian tomatoes
1 16 oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. sugar
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 cup grated cheese
1 lb. macaroni, spaghetti or homemade noodles
2 or 3 of the following: meatballs, Italian sausage, lamb fore, pork butt (see meatball recipe below)

  1. Mash the tomatoes well and let simmer in a large saucepan or kettle for 1/2 hour. Stir occasionally.

  2. While tomatoes are cooking, fry meat. Use meatballs, Italian sausage, beef brociola, lamb, or pork butt. The meats in the sauce give a hearty flavor. (Try the meatball recipe below from The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook.)

  3. Add tomato sauce to tomatoes. Rinse can with 1/2 cup water and add to tomatoes. Also add sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well.

  4. Add meats and simmer 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sauce will thicken without a cover. Made a day or so ahead, kept in the refrigerator and then reheated slowly, the sauce will be tastier.

  5. Cook macaroni according to directions on the package.

  6. Drain and put macaroni in a large dish or platter. Sprinkle 1/4 cup grated cheese over it, and pour 2 ladles of sauce on top (1 ladle = 1/4 cup).

  7. Turn macaroni gently to mix. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and spread 3 ladles of sauce over all.

  8. Do not mix again before serving.

  9. Meat is served on an individual platter and extra sauce is served in a gravy boat.

  10. Serves 4-6.



1 lb. ground chuck
2 slices stale bread, crumbled
1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
1 tbsp. raisins
1 clove garlic, grated
2 tbsp. Italian grated cheese
1/2 cup water
2 eggs
salt & pepper
1/4 cup oil or lard


  1. Into a mixing bowl put ground chuck, bread, parsley flakes, raisins, garlic, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  2. Add cold water and mix. 
  3. Add 2 eggs and mix.
  4. Form the meatballs the size of a large egg. (Wet your hand before making each meatball and the mixture will not stick to your hands.)
  5. Put 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet and fry meatballs until brown on all sides. 
  6. Makes 8-10 meatballs.


For more great recipes from around the world, purchase your copy of The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook.

The cookbook is a 268-page spiral-bound book containing recipes from thirty-five countries. The recipes are introduced with family memories. The book also contains a History of Ellis Island, Chronology, Immigrant Food Memories.

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