Mix the meat with the egg, finely chopped onion and well-washed rice in cold water. Add salt, pepper and thyme and mix until smooth.
Put a pot of water on the fire, in which we add the bay leaf, salt, pepper, thyme and basil. When it starts to boil, add the meatballs and let it boil until they rise to the surface.
Remove the meatballs with a spatula directly into the bowl in which we will put them in the oven.
Separately heat the onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of water. Add the diced tomatoes and let it boil for a while then add the broth, tomato juice with pepper and cup of water.
Then add the bay leaf and thyme and leave on the fire until the tomatoes are cooked. Finally add salt, pepper and freshly chopped basil.
Pour the sauce over the meatballs and bake for 30 minutes. Serve hot with the preferred garnish.