No crushed tomatoes? No problem. Use a can of tomato sauce in place of crushed tomatoes. It will give you a smoother consistency overall. If you have picky kiddos (who maybe don’t want to see ANY chunks of tomato) tomato sauce will likely please their taste buds better because of the smoother texture.
Prefer to make your own meatballs? If you have the time and you’re into it, making your own meatballs is a really simple way to elevate this a bit. You can even make them ahead of time and freeze them for later. Check out my recipe for homemade meatballs if you want to give it a try. Just pan fry homemade meatballs in a bit of olive oil and then add them the pot to finish cooking in the tomato sauce!
If you’d rather make this dish vegetarian, you can omit the meatballs all together! This will make the overall dish slightly more saucey so you could either use 16 oz. of pasta or just enjoy a little added sauce!
Consider grating your own Parmesan. Pre-grated cheeses includes preservatives that keep the shreds from clumping together on the shelf. Those same preservatives, however, mean the cheese doesn’t melt together quite as smoothly when cooking. For the best creamy texture, get a wedge of Parmesan and grate it yourself. The food processor works really well for grating Parmesan also!