1 cup soft bread crumbs
3/4 cup 2% milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 pounds bulk Italian sausage, mild
4 cups beef stock
1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
3 cups water
1 teaspoon dried basil
Parmesan rind, optional
8 ounces angel hair pasta, broken into 1-1/2-inch pieces
Additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional
1Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, mix bread crumbs and milk. Let stand 5 minutes; drain. Stir in eggs, cheese and seasonings. Add sausage; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1-in. balls. Place meatballs on a greased rack in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake until cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.
2Transfer meatballs to a 6-qt. slow cooker. Add stock, marinara sauce, water, basil and, if desired, Parmesan rind. Cook, covered, on low 6-8 hours to allow flavors to blend.
3Discard Parmesan rind. Stir in pasta; cook, covered, on high until pasta is tender, 15-20 minutes longer. If desired, serve with additional cheese.
To make soft bread crumbs, tear bread into pieces and place in a food processor or blender. Cover and pulse until crumbs form. One slice of bread yields 1/2 to 3/4 cup crumbs.
Prep: 45 min. Cook: 6-1/4 hours
Makes 8 servings (3 quarts)
1-1/2 cups: 394 calories, 26g fat (9g saturated fat), 95mg cholesterol, 1452mg sodium, 23g ca