Thursday, August 16, 2012

Italian Meatballs

I absolutely love Italian food. I grew up in an area with a strong Italian heritage, so pasta and pizza restaurants were plentiful. But homemade is always the best, isn't it?

Nothing is better than pasta and meatballs. It's a simple, classic dish full of flavor. My secret is to partially cook the meatballs first so some of the fat drains off, then let them finish cooking in the sauce. The addition of the meatballs gives the sauce such wonderful depth, too.

Here's what you need:

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
1 teas garlic powder
1 teas sea salt
1/2 teas black pepper
1 egg, slightly beaten

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except the ground beef. Crumble the beef over the mixture, then use your hands to make sure everything is well mixed. Form the mixture into balls according to what size you need. I can usually get about 16 small meatballs from this recipe.

Place uncooked meatballs on a baking sheet. I use a wire rack to elevate them so the fat drips down as they cook. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

I fill the crockpot with spaghetti sauce (I use homemade but a large jar of store bought sauce works) and drop the meatballs in.

Let the meatballs soak in the sauce on the low setting for several hours. Serve over pasta.

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