It snowed this past Sunday. #snovember
It’s the first week of November and I’m already over the winter. Done with it. But sadly it is not done tormenting me.
While I’ve written about how we are trying to eat more Paleo meals- meaning no pasta- I couldn’t resist making a big batch of sauce and some meatballs to enjoy with some – gasp- pasta!!! Sure, we could have had some spaghetti squash but I just couldn’t resist some stick to your bones food on the first day of snow.
And you know, what… it was damn good!!!
Maybe it’s my Italian half shouting from the roof tops but nothing beats homemade marinara sauce and meatballs. Seriously. Oh man, and to dip pieces of Italian bread into the pot of sauce… bliss. I think I just caught myself drooling a bit.
Side note- Autumn loves pasta and sauce. But I was working on making some garlic bread and gave her some bread that I dipped into the sauce for her. I turned back to my task at hand and .2 seconds later I hear her babbling away. The bread was gone! She just inhaled it and wanted more fast. In the end she ate a decent amount of bread with marinara sauce. Makes a mama proud!
Well, look no further than this recipe the next time you are craving some spaghetti with meatballs. Grab some Red Pack and get ready for an awesome meal. The marinara takes about 10 minutes of active cooking time and then you get to forget about it for the rest of the time.
The recipe below says to cook it for 6-7 hours total but if you can adjust your slow cooker to go at a lower temperature then you can extend that cooking time to 8+ so that you can prepare it and set it up right before going to work and then it will be ready for you when you get home.
And the meatballs are the coolest! They are stuffed with a mozzarella ball so when you cut them open you get some warm ooey gooey cheese that comes flowing out. Like lava, but you’d like this kind of lava. They might look intimidating to make but they take about an extra 15-20 seconds to make each one compared to regular meatballs. That tiny bit extra effort is so worth it.
I might just be able to survive this winter.
At least I’ll have some more marinara that I can easily prepare in the morning and it will be all ready when I get home. It will be so delightful to come up to a great smelling house and freshly made marinara.
Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce with Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs
Makes 8 servings
For the marinara sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- (28 ounce) can Redpack® Crushed Tomatoes In Thick Puree
- (28 ounce) can Redpack® Tomato Sauce
- (6 ounce) can Redpack® Tomato Paste
- 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- 1 Teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 Cup water
For the meatballs
- 2 pounds turkey or lean ground beef (I used a blend)
- 1/2 Cup instant oatmeal
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 8 ounces small fresh mozzarella balls
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- To make the sauce, heat the extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Saute the onion and garlic until tender and translucent. Add all of the sauce ingredients to the slow cooker vessel that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Stir to combine. Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours.
- When your sauce has 1 hour of cooking remaining, begin to prepare your meatballs. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients besides the mozzarella balls and the olive oil. Divide the meat mixture into 8 equal portions, then take each of those potions and divide into 2 to create 16 equal portions. Scoop up 1 portion, flatten out the ball to form a patty in the palm of your hand, place a mozzarella ball in the center and then evenly close up the meatball mixture around the cheese. Aside and repeat for all the meatballs.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. In small batches brown all the sides of the meatballs. Be very gentle when flipping as you don’t want to break up the meatballs. Once the meatballs are evenly browned, add them to the slow cooker and continue to cook until the sauce is done.
- Serve with 1 pound of the pasta of your choice.
Adapted from Red Pack
This post is sponsored by Red Pack. I received product from Red Pack to make a recipe of my choosing. All opinions are my own.
And now the GIVEAWAY!!
You can win a Red Pack gift pack that contains (2) 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes and (1) 28oz can of Red Pack sauce, wooden spoon, tote bag and recipe cards.
*You just have to leave a comment to the blog post. Write whatever you want. Simple as that!
To get an extra entry then tweet the following & come back here and leave another comment telling me you did.
Also, check out their Facebook page because they are giving away 2 slow cookers every day until Nov 12th. EVERY DAY!!! Plus there is a grand prize at the end too! One lucky winner will win a Slow Cooker grand prize package that includes a state-of-the-art slow cooker, a serving and braising tongs (total prize value estimated at $330).
See, they just really want to have everyone have a slow cooker so people can have a hot meal waiting after a busy school/work day. There are so many great soups, stews and casserole recipes they have on their site that you can enjoy too!