My Jersey-born-Italian brother-in-law Neal will attest … I am not Italian (not that you could tell, what with me being a six foot blonde).
But I’ve got a few Italian-inspired dishes in my repertoire that your grandmother from the Old Country might not love, but our motley crew seem to like well enough.
Like this spicy-basily-delicious tomato sauce.
Even my tomato-hating sister Teri likes this sauce.
And it takes all of about 15 minutes to make.
And then there are these meatballs.
These easy slow-cooker meatballs.
That taste good over cooked pasta.
Or in a sandwich.
Or sliced and piled on a homemade pizza.
They’re not very big (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter) … I don’t dig big meatballs. Every time I’ve tried to make them bigger they end up dried out or undercooked. This size keeps ’em juicy … and manageable … and that makes this recipe yield about 30-32 meatballs … and feeds us for dinner and sometimes 2 or 3 meals after.
- 1 1/2 lb ground beef
- 3/4 cup panko-style breadcrumbs
- 3/4 cup asiago cheese
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
- 3 tablespoons Italian parsley (finely chopped)
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 5 cups tomato sauce
Combine beef, breadcrumbs, cheese, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, parsley and egg in a lagre bowl. (I take off my rings, wash my hands and get into it … it’s a sure way to make sure the ingredients are good and blended.)
Form into 1 1/2 inch balls and stack gently in the crockpot.
Smother with tomato sauce. Set on “Low” for 6-8 hours and serve ’em up.