Monday, April 27, 2009

Italian Meatballs

A couple months back, my cousin, Kristi, had my family over for dinner while my mom was visiting. It was very last minute, so I was amazed that she decided to make meatballs from scratch and serve us spaghetti and meatballs. That would be a lot for anyone on one day's notice, but Kristi has three kids, the youngest of whom was only 3 months old at the time! Anyway, the meatballs were delicious and I, of course, asked for the recipe. A couple weeks ago, I finally got around to trying them myself. I've always thought meatballs = time consuming + a lot of work, however, that wasn't the case. These cook in the crockpot after you bake them, so they're pretty low-key. One thing I really like about this recipe is that it's pretty basic, so you could play with it and make it your own. I think next time, I'll throw in some grated parmesean--my family loves all things cheesy! :) Also, I halved the recipe, but next time I think I'll make the whole thing and freeze the leftovers for another busy time. Here's the recipe and some pics. Enjoy!


1 lb. lean (or whatever you prefer) ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1 sleeve of saltines (I've used wheat Ritz in the past and they were good!)
2 eggs
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder OR 3 minced garlic cloves
2 tbsp. Italian seasoning (
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional...I like mine with a bit of a kick!)

*2 tbsp. olive oil for sauce

1. Preheat oven to 400. Crush crackers until finely ground.
2. In a large bowl combine w/beef, pork, eggs, garlic, Italian seasoning, olive oil and red pepper flakes.

3. Mix well with hands.
4. Shape into meatballs (whatever size you prefer--I made mine the size of my kids toy golfballs).

5. Line up on two foil-lined cookie sheets or 9 x 13 baking dishes.

6. Bake for approx. 35 min. at 400.
7. Add meatballs and 2 jars of spaghetti sauce (w/1 tbsp. olive oil mixed into each jar) to crockpot.
8. Leave on high for 1-2 hrs. then turn to low.

I usually have to add more sauce when having leftovers. Just depends on how much sauce you like.

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