Thursday, May 7, 2009

A 30 Minute Plus 8 Hour Meal

I had a busy day ahead of me, some veggies to use up and a craving for pasta. So I decided to let the slow cooker to do most of the work for me, and after only about 30 minutes of prep work, my sauce was simmering away in the crock pot. I just love how the crock pot infused the whole house with the delicious aromas of tomatoes and herbs - what a nice welcome home! It makes a larger batch, so there will be plenty of goodness for leftovers or freezer meals. Enjoy with a crisp green salad, plenty of Parmesan cheese and a nice glass of Merlot.

All Day Tomato Sauce & Meatballs

Meatballs: (Makes about 16-18 small-medium meatballs, next time I would use 1.5 lbs ground beef for more meatballs)

1 lb ground beef
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Add all ingredients except for the last two to a large bowl, combine and form into meatballs. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet and add the smashed garlic clove to infuse the oil. Add meatballs turning frequently to brown all sides, but not cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from skillet and add to sauce in the crock pot.

2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, grated
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1.5 cups Baby Bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
28 oz crushed tomatoes
28 oz tomato puree
about 1/2 cup water (I swished it around in the tomato puree can)
14.5 oz diced tomatoes with juices
1.5 tsp kosher salt or to taste
1 tsp freshly ground pepper or to taste
2 tsp dried parsley
1 bay leaf
1.5 tsp dried oregano
splash of red wine
1 tbsp EVOO (more if necessary)
1-3 cup fresh basil, torn, plus more for garnish
Parmesan cheese

Add all the tomatoes and water to the crock pot and set on high, cover.

In the same skillet as the meatballs were in, over medium heat add in a little more EVOO if necessary and add the celery, carrot and onions. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes. De glaze the pan with a splash of wine and continue to cook veggies till softened.

Remove, add to crock pot, and add all remaining herbs and seasonings. Turn down to low, and cook for 7-8 hours, tasting a couple of times and adjusting seasonings if necessary and stir on basil with about 20 minutes left. Garnish with more fresh basil before serving.


wifeplzak said...

not many things better than the crock pot, this looks great!

KMAYS said...

Mmm, this looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

I would love to try your sauce recipe.

Joelen said...

This sauce looks wonderful!

Colleen said...

This all looks so delicious!

gaga said...

I think I need to get a slow cooker just for this, that looks amazing!