Prep 1 hr 15 mins
Cook 6 hrs
Makes enough for 1 lb. of pasta. You can use spaghetti, penne, or another chunky pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 -3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3⁄4 cup dry red wine
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice (or can use 28 oz. can tomato puree)
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 T. minced fresh)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 T. minced fresh)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 1⁄2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1⁄4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 dash ground allspice
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup dry red wine
- To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat.
- Add in the onion and garlic; stir/saute for a few minutes or until well softened but not browned.
- Add in the wine; bring to a boil; continue boiling 1-2 minutes, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- Transfer mixture to the slow cooker.
- Add in tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, parsley, allspice, and bay leaf; stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on HIGH while you prepare the meatballs.
- To make the meatballs: add the ground beef to a large mixing bowl, breaking it up a bit with your fingers or a large fork.
- Add in the breadcrumbs, eggs, Parmesan, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, parsley, and allspice.
- Gently but thoroughly blend the ingredients, using your hands or a large fork.
- Be careful not to compact the meat, which will make your meatballs tough.
- Gently shape the mixture into 12 meatballs, each a little bigger than a golf ball.
- Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat; add in the meatballs and brown on all sides, 6-10 minutes, turning carefully.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to the slowcooker.
- Pour off any fat from the skillet, return to the stove and add the wine.
- Cover over high heat for 2-3 minutes, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the pan.
- Pour over the meatballs.
- If the meatballs are not covered by tomato sauce, carefully spoon some sauce over them.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours.
- Remove the bay leaf and serve meatballs and sauce over pasta.
These were amazing! I didn't have parsley or allspice & substituted oregano for basil (personal preference). I made the recipe for the meatballs (stuffing each meatball with mozzarella) and browned them on the stovetop, added the wine to deglaze the pan and poured jarred pasta sauce over top, simmered covered for a few hours. So good, the meatballs were so tender (the cheese disappeared, I simmered them a few hours). I also added a few sweet Italian sausage links I had on hand to the pan for variety. Everyone ate it up. Served over Angel hair pasta with fresh shredded Parmesan Romano on top. Thanks for sharing, this will be a repeat for sure! Note: I took mozzarella cheese sticks and cut them into small cubes placing a cube inside each meatball before browning.
Excellent recipe - I substituted white wine for the red as I had a bottle already opened. I did it in a skillet instead of a slow cooker - worked well. Simmered the sauce & balls on low for 30 minutes Thanks for a tasty dinner