My husband grew up in a traditional Italian family, which meant big pots of meatballs and gravy simmering on the stove every Sunday. Yes, gravy – that’s what Italians in the New Jersey area call red pasta sauce!
I have his grandmother’s recipes, but I rarely make them because I don’t have the time. These quick and easy meatballs simmer all day in the slow cooker instead of the stove, which makes them much better for a busy lifestyle. The smell of them simmering all day in the slow cooker smells almost as good as having a pot of gravy on the stove all day!
This makes very tender meatballs in a thick sauce. They’re perfect over pasta or on long rolls for meatball subs. If you want a thinner sauce, mix in some jarred tomato sauce fifteen minutes before serving.
Serves: 4 servings, double the recipe to have 6-8 servings
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 egg
- ½ large onion, shredded
- ⅓ c. plain breadcrumbs
- 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ c. fresh basil, chopped
- ¼ c. parmesan cheese, shredded, plus more for serving
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, egg, shredded onion and breadcrumbs. Roll ground beef mixture into 1-1 ½ inch balls. Set aside.
- In another bowl, mix together the crushed tomatoes, garlic, basil and parmesan cheese.
- Spread ½ cup of the tomato sauce mixture in the bottom of your slow cooker. Place the meatballs on top, and then cover with remaining sauce.
- Cook on low for 8 hours.
- Serve over pasta or on long rolls. Top with additional parmesan cheese, if desired.
Kate is a home cook living and working in New Jersey. In addition to sharing recipes with Eat at Home readers, she blogs her cooking adventures at Kate’s Recipe Box. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her reading or tending to her garden.