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Spaghetti & Meatballs

This recipe combines the best of both worlds and requires very little time in the kitchen!  The meatballs are browned in the oven and the sauce is cooked in the slow cooker!

These meatballs are made with a blend of beef and pork; however, you may use all beef or substitute with ground chicken or turkey.  Just remember, if you substitute with chicken or turkey, you will need to increase the amount of milk by a little because there is less fat in ground poultry and it tends to dry out faster.

It looks like a lot of ingredients, but it is probably stuff you already have in your pantry!

Ingredients:

For the Meatballs

1.5 pounds of ground beef

1 pound ground pork

1 small onion chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (dried parsley will work as well)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2/3 cup Italian bread crumbs

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons crushed garlic  (fresh garlic is best for this recipe)

2 eggs

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

For the Sauce

2 tablespoons garlic crushed

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 small onion chopped

2 tablespoons parsley chopped (fresh or dried)

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp basil

6 oz tomato paste

6 oz water

1 - 14 oz can diced tomatoes

2 - 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes

2 tablespoons sugar

Directions

For the Meatballs

  1. combine breadcrumbs and milk in a small dish and set aside

  2. combine all other meatball ingredients in a large bowl and use your hands to mix well

  3. add the breadcrumb/milk mixture

  4. gently mix until combined well - [note:  don't over mix or smash between your fingers too much as this will cause them to compact and dry out during the baking process]

  5. shape into balls about 1 and 1/2 inches in diameter

  6. place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with Pam

  7. bake in the oven on 400 until slightly brown (uncovered)

  8. remove from the oven and place inside the slow cooker

For the sauce

  1. saute the onions until translucent or place them inside the microwave for about 1.5 to 2 minutes

  2. combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well

  3. pour sauce over the meatballs inside the slow cooker

  4. cook on low for 5 hours

The meatballs are already done, so the purpose of the slow cooker is to allow the sauce time to develop a richer flavor.  If you don't have 5-6 hours to wait, just put it on high and cook for a few hours; however, this sauce is much more flavorful when cooked low and slow.

 

Serve with spaghetti noodles.

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