Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Spaghetti and Meatballs

When I asked John, what should I write about spaghetti and meatballs?... The response I received was “They're SO good..." And, simply put, that is the best way to describe this classic dish. I usually purchase a jar of marinara sauce, but this time I happened to have a bunch of fresh tomatoes. What to do? Make sauce, of course.

Slow-cooker Marinara Sauce
6 fresh tomatoes (peeled, seeded, chopped)
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
1 T tomato paste
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
sea salt & pepper (to taste)

Cook onion & red bell pepper in olive oil until softened. Put this, the tomatoes, and rest of ingredients into a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. You may need to add a little more water to this, depending on how juicy the tomatoes are; the mixture could dry out. After the full cooking time, puree the mixture (if you don't like chunks) in a food processor and keep warm. You could also add other veg to this, like zucchini or carrots.

1 lb ground beef
1 c fresh bread crumbs
1 T dried parsley
2 T parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 egg
sea salt & pepper

Mix and form into 1-1/2" balls. Brown in a skillet. Mix with marinara sauce in a saucepan and heat thoroughly until the meatballs are cooked through.

Serve over spaghetti!

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