To change things up a bit in the kitchen, I also love to dip into an issue of Cooks Illustrated, especially now that I’ve discovered that my local library has a subscription (grrr – last two times though somebody has had every single back issue checked out!).

Last month, at Costco, I spotted a recipe for slow cooker meatballs in the current issue. I didn’t buy the issue, just reread the ingredient list until it was somewhat lodged in my brain. Of course, by the time I was actually ready to make the meatballs I wanted to review the recipe, but sadly the current issue at Costco had already been replaced with this month’s issue, and it was checked out at the library.

So, I did that flying by the seat of my pants thing and it worked out okay.

I LOVED the way my meatballs turned out and I’m really looking forward to a meatball sub for lunch (with a slice of smoked gouda).

Here’s the general idea for

SLOW COOKER MEATBALLS

1 # grass-fed ground beef

3 spicy Italian sausages squeezed out their casings (I believe the recipe called for sweet Italian, but I generally go for savory over sweet)

2 eggs

1 c bread crumbs (I used panko, because I happened to have them on hand)

1 c parsley, chopped fine (from another meatball recipe I’ve used)

1 c shredded mozzerella (may have called for parmesan)

salt and pepper to taste

Sauce: 3 large cans plum tomatoes, lots of pressed garlic, large bunch of basil chopped, one can tomato paste

1. Add the plum tomatoes to the crock pot and whizz it up with an immersion blender. Add up to one head of pressed garlic and one bunch of  basil, chopped. Turn the crock pot on. Salt and pepper to taste.

2. Mix meatball ingredients well by hand. Shape into meatballs.

3. Broil meatballs to render the fat.

4. Gently drop the meatballs into the sauce.

5. Let it simmer the rest of the day and serve over spaghetti with garlic toast.

You’ll be happy you did it.

This meal has already provided lunch (x6); plus, I used the sauce last night for pizza, and the remaining meatballs will be my sub for lunch.

So much for having some left over to freeze.

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