It is best to saute your onions for your meatballs before mixing them in. To save dishwashing and time, I saute the onions and garlic for both the meatballs and marinara at the same time.
Heat your pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then 1 cup of minced onions, and 4 tablespoons minced garlic.
Saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove half the onion/garlic mixture and set it aside.
Use the onion/garlic mix left in the pan to start your marinara.
Add in the cans of crushed tomatoes and the remaining ingredients.
Cook for 15-20 minutes while you are mixing your meatballs.
Once the marinara is started, let's make the meatballs!
Add all your ingredients to a medium-sized bowl, including the onions and garlic you sauted earlier. Mix well.
Form the meatballs. I made mine about 2-inch round. You can make them bigger or smaller depending on the size you want.
Make sure your marinara is hot and boiling, then start adding in your meatballs. This will make plenty of meatballs so the pan will be pretty full. If some of the meatballs are sitting on top of the sauce for this part, don't sweat it.
*This is important* Top the pan with a lid and allow them to cook undisturbed for several minutes. If you don't do this and start mixing right away, you will break up the meatballs.
It won't take long, maybe 2-3 minutes. Then carefully mix. Cover all the meatballs in the sauce.
Let them continue to cook, stirring occasionally. This is a tomato-based sauce, of course, so it will tend to burn if you don't watch it. So stir and make sure you get all the way to the bottom of the pan.
If your meatballs are the size I made mine, it will take about 10 minutes to cook them through. I cooked mine even longer though, it intensifies the flavors even more. It will also thicken the sauce.
If you are making these ahead of time, after the 10 minutes of cooking, move the sauce and meatballs to a crockpot. Set it on low for 10 hours.
When you are ready to serve slice your buns in half. I like to butter my electric griddle for toasting. Place the buns, cut side down on the buttered griddle. Cook until they are golden brown.
It is time to assemble.
Add your cheese to the hot buns, then spoon in your meatballs. This is meant to be a messy sandwich, so apply the sauce liberally.
Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!
These also make awesome meal prep. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for at least a week, or even up to 10 days! When you are ready, reheat. This can be done on the cooktop or microwave.