Tassel Ridge Iowa In the Dark Marinara Sauce with Chef Frank’s Meatballs


Marinara Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ large yellow onion diced
  • 2 Tbsp garlic minced
  • 7 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seed
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • ½ cup Tassel Ridge Iowa In the Dark
  • 2 28- oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • cups tomato juice

Chef Frank’s Meatballs Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup bread crumbs


Marinara Directions:

  1. Heat oil in large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onion. Cook for 3 minutes, or until onions are soft. Add the garlic, basil, fennel seed, and pepper. Cook for about two minutes, being careful not to burn garlic. Once mixture is aromatic, add Tassel Ridge Iowa In the Dark and bring to a boil. Add crushed tomatoes and tomato juice. Stir well. Reduce heat and simmer, making sure sauce does not boil. Continue to cook about 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once cooked, blend (in a blender with an immersion blender) to desired consistency. Makes about 3 quarts of sauce.

Meatballs Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine beef, seasoning, Parmesan, eggs, and bread crumbs in bowl, mixing well. Divide into 16 portions and shape into balls. Place in greased pan. Cook 10 to 25 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165°F. Pour Tassel Ridge In the Dark Marinara Sauce over meatballs. Cook for 5 minutes. Serves 4-6.

Recipe Notes

Wine Recommendation—Tassel Ridge Iowa In the Dark

Iowa In the Dark® is a light, dry, red wine with strawberry notes and toasty oak on the nose followed by hints of caramel on the finish. This wine is a blend of Marquette, St. Croix, and Frontenac grapes grown in our Mahaska County vineyards.