Make Fantastic Italian Meatballs In A Crock Pot

I put this recipe together to complement the Olive Garden pasta e fagioli copycat recipe that I posted elsewhere. The soup is an excellent meal by itself, but after a day or two (you can only eat so much soup) I like to use it as an appetizer.

If you are ambitious you can make your own spaghetti sauce, but I have found that store bought sauces are fine if you doctor them up a little.

First the sauce. 2-3 jars minus 1 cup of sauce go into the slow cooker on high heat. While that's heating, chop 3 or 4 cloves of garlic and 1 medium onion and sweat them in 2 tbs of olive oil. add this, including the oil, to the sauce along with a tsp of basil and a tsp of oregano.

In a large bowl combine 1 lb of ground beef with a half lb of Italian sausage. Add 1 large egg, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs, and 1 cup of spaghetti sauce. A 1/2 tsp of high bulk index garlic powder is a wonderful thing here as well.

Mix thoroughly, and form into 1 inch balls. bake covered at 350 degrees for an hour then add to slow cooker and switch to low heat. makes about 40 meatballs that are great with whatever pasta you like. I think they're especially good with gnocchi.

Hint: The longer they're in the slow cooker, the better they are. This also improves the sauce.

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