- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 small to medium onion, grated or finely chopped
- 5 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 3 28- to 35-ounce cans Italian tomatoes, crushed by hand in their juices
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano or marjoram
- Salt and pepper
- A fat handful of basil leaves, torn
- Sliced or shredded provolone cheese
- Sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese
- Sliced or shredded Fontina Val d’Aosta
- Split Italian hoagie rolls with and/or without sesame seeds
For the sauce, heat olive oil in a medium saucepot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and stir 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and tomato paste, and stir a minute more. Add wine and reduce by half. Add tomatoes with their juices as well as the thyme and oregano. Bring to a bubble, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes or so. Add basil to sauce and season with salt to taste. Simmer 5-10 minutes more.
Toss a tray of meatballs in 1/3 of warm sauce and keep warm on the stove in covered skillets or a slow cooker. Add stock when needed is sauce gets too thick.
To assemble the subs, line rolls with slices of cheese. Top with warm meatballs and some sauce to melt cheese.