Carolyn's Everyday Tomato Sauce with Meatballs

Everyday Tomato Sauce with Meatballs
(another of Carolyn's crockpot specials)

When I make sauce in the slowcooker, I put the raw meatballs directly in the sauce. The best way would be to fry them up in olive oil, but its a compromise I am willing to make, because it is so much easier.

My basic meatball recipe is (please remember I have two teenaged sons and reduce accordingly):

3 lbs ground beef, very lean (since you won't be frying it, you need to get the very leanest meat), an egg, a generous handful of breadcrumbs, some Penzey's Italian seasoning, another handful of romano cheese, an onion grated, salt, pepper and some fresh parsely. Add a bit of milk to moisten it a bit. Mix -- it will be soft and rather sticky to work with. Roll into golf ball sized meatballs. Put in the bottom of the cooker, add three cans whole tomatoes (which you have mushed up a bit with your hands), one can crushed tomatoes, several chopped onions (at least three large) and about a ball of garlic, chopped. I like to sautee the garlic briefly in olive oil and throw it all in. Raw garlic in the slow cooker takes on a funny taste. I also add a bay leaf, some more Penzey's Italian, salt, pepper, and, if my tomatoes are bitter, I will grate a carrot for sweetness.

This is my everyday sauce. A sauce for an occasion, would have red wine, lamb (pref. the neck or shank)and perhaps some rendered sausage, in addition to the meatballs, which I would fry on the stove.



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