Sunday, December 8, 2013

Recipe - crockpot spaghetti and meatballs

Hi, friends! Happy Sunday!

We've been iced in for 60 hours now, and to say I've got a bit of cabin fever would definitely be an understatement. When the weather forecast first shows signs of an ice storm, I always get a little excited. It's fun to watch the storm roll in and see the sleet and freezing rain, and the first 24ish hours are nice- just hanging out at home with a fire roaring and lots of yummy food (and wine). But by the second full day, we all get a little crazy. I personally think its the lack of fresh air.

This time around, I decided to prepare for the worst and planned 3 hearty meals- chili, spaghetti and meatballs and tonight we'll have sloppy joes. And I think we've consumed 4 bottles of wine. Sorry I'm not sorry.

I'm here to share my spaghetti and meatballs recipe with you. It's so delicious and EASY! I originally got this recipe via And They Cooked Happily Ever After, but I have modified it a bit. Below is my modified recipe.

I recommend making the meatballs the night before, to let them chill in the fridge overnight. It helps to keep them from falling apart.

For the meatballs:
½ cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
2 eggs
¼ cup water
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 lb. ground beef (at least 80/20)
½ lb. ground pork

For the sauce:
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
5 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, quartered
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 - 24oz cans of tomato puree (use San Marzano tomatoes if you can)
1 - 28oz can of crushed tomatoes (again, San Marzano tomatoes if you can find it)
½ cup beef broth
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
½ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. cumin
2 tsp. brown sugar
fresh basil (4-5 leafs)

1) Preheat oven to 350°.
2) Mix bread crumbs, egg, water, cheese and spices together to form a soft paste.
3) Fold in ground beef and pork, turning to mix paste into meat. Do not over mix, as you'll toughen the meat.
4) Shape into meatballs (whatever size you prefer, I usually make about 20 golf ball-sized meatballs), and place on a cookie sheet.
5) Bake for 8 minutes, turn and cook on other side for another 8 minutes.
6) Place meatballs in a glass dish, cover and place in fridge overnight.

1) In a large pot, melt butter and oil on medium heat. Add onions and cook until they're translucent, not letting them brown (about 3-5 minutes).
2) Add minced garlic and let cook until just fragrant, not letting it burn (about 1 minute).
3) Add the 3 cans of tomatoes, beef broth and all spiced except the fresh basil, and bring to a slow boil over medium heat.
4) Layer the sauce and meatballs in the crockpot. You'll get about 2 layers of meatballs.
5) Cook on low for 5 hours. About 1 hour before they're done, remove some of the onions and add the fresh basil.

I serve this with spaghetti noodles, but you could easily just serve the meatballs with sauce, or even make meatball subs.


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