1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan and Romano cheese blend
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 medium green pepper, finely chopped
3 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and parsley flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Hot cooked spaghetti
1. In a large bowl, mix bread crumbs, cheese, pepper and salt; stir in eggs. Add beef; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. In a large skillet, brown meatballs in batches over medium heat; drain.
2. Place the first 5 sauce ingredients in a 6-qt. slow cooker; stir in garlic and seasonings. Add meatballs, stirring gently to coat. Cook, covered, on low 5-6 hours, until meatballs are cooked through.
3. Remove bay leaves. Serve with spaghetti.
I’ve been cooking 50 years and this dish is still one that guests ask for frequently. My No. 1 standby slow cooker meatballs recipe also makes amazing hero sandwiches, and the sauce works for any pasta.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 50 min. Cook: 5 hours
YIELD: 12 servings (about 3-1/2 quarts sauce).
1 cup (calculated without spaghetti): 254 calories, 11g fat (4g saturated fat), 79mg cholesterol, 1133mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 3g fiber), 20g protein.