Perfect over spaghetti or another pasta, these light yet savory meatballs are also surprisingly good served over steaming hot couscous, quartered baked potatoes, or packed into a split toasted sub roll.
To make meatballs: In a bowl, stir rice into 4 cups boiling water. Set aside for 30 minutes to soak. Drain well. Return rice to bowl. Add remaining ingredients, except oil, and mix well. Form into 16 balls, each about 2 inch in diameter.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add meatballs, in batches, and brown on all sides. Transfer to slow cooker. Drain all but 1 Tablespoon fat from pan. (If you used extra lean ground beef, you may have to add oil.).
To make tomato sauce: Reduce heat to medium. Add onions to pan and cook, stirring until softened. Add garlic, oregano, salt, peppercorns and cinnamon stick and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and lemon juice and bring to a boil, breaking up tomatoes with a spoon as they cook.
Pour sauce over meatballs. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 hours or on LOW for 8 hours, until meatballs are no longer pink inside. Discard cinnamon stick.