Saturday, September 14, 2013

Crockpot Spaghetti sauce w/ Meatballs

Who doesn't love the easy of the crockpot/slow cooker?  I know I sure do.. It makes getting dinner on the table easy when you have a busy day. 

My 3 year old has been asking me for sghetti & meatballs.. (well that's how he says it :)  we had a really busy day today, so thought how can I make this easier so I don't have to fuss with it.. ah yes..crockpot here I come...
I use really lean ground beef (93/7) to make this.  You don't want to have a lot of added grease to your finished sauce so use lean meat.  Also these are softer than say if you oven bake or fry your meatballs.  They simmer from the raw state in the sauce for hours, so they are a little softer, but oh so delicious. I also got out my micro-plane grater and grated my onion, celery & carrot for my sauce, you can chop this mixture too, but I was in a hurry and didn't feel like grabbing  my food processor out... You can also add chopped up mushrooms or green, red or yellow peppers.....make these for your family today.. we like our sauce a little sweeter, if you don't cut back on the brown sugar...enjoy

I serve this over spaghetti, but use what your family likes, or you have on hand.  I serve this with extra grated Parmesan cheese over the top.

Crockpot Spaghetti sauce w/meatballs

1 lb. extra lean ground beef (I use 93/7)
2 slices white bread torn into very small chunks
2 T half & half
1/2 to 3/4 cup bread crumbs(start mixing it with 1/2 cup and if it's not firm enough to make meatballs add the remaining 1/4 cup)
1 egg
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 grated parmesan cheese 
1/4 grated onion
 Seasonings of your choice ( I used seasoned salt & pepper, and a sprinkle of Mrs. Dash, and Italian seasonings)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jar or large can of Spaghetti sauce
1 small can tomato paste
1 small can tomato sauce
1/4 cup red wine
2-3 T brown sugar
splash of Worchester sauce
1 bay leaf
1/4 of a grated onion
1 grated carrot
1/2 stalk of grated celery
Seasonings of your choice ( I used pinch of red pepper flakes, dried parsley, Italian seasonings, Mrs. Dash, salt & pepper)

In crockpot, add spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, paste and wine.  Whisk till smooth.  Add remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.  In bowl add meatball ingredients and with hands mix well.  Form into meatballs and drop into sauce in the crockpot.  Continue till all the meat is used, and very gently stir the meatballs into the sauce  covering to coat each one with sauce.  Cook on high for about an hour or until the sauce is rapidly simmering.  Move to low and simmer for 5-6 hours stirring occasionally until meatballs are done.  Serve over cooked pasta and sprinkle the top with freshly grated parmesan cheese... enjoy

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