Nonna’s Spaghetti & Meatballs

Nonna’s Spaghetti & Meatballs

The meatballs and sauce are cooked in the slow cooker for this traditional Italian spaghetti and meatballs recipe. You could also serve the meatballs over creamy polenta or on a sandwich with melted provolone.

From EatingWell: March/April 2012
Yield: 8 servings, 1 cup pasta, 3/4 cup sauce & 2 meatballs each
Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: Slow-cooker time: 4-8 hours

Ingredients

Meatballs

  1. 2 large eggs
  2. 1/2 cup dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs (see Tip)
  3. 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  4. 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
  5. 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  6. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  9. 8 ounces lean (90% or leaner) ground beef
  10. 8 ounces ground pork or Italian pork sausage
  11. 8 ounces ground veal

Sauce & Spaghetti

  1. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 cup finely chopped onion
  3. 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  4. 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  5. 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  6. 1 cup dry red wine
  7. 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  8. 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  9. 1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
  10. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano

Preparation

  1. To prepare meatballs: Lightly beat eggs in a large bowl. Stir in breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup onion, cheese, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Add beef, pork (or sausage) and veal; gently mix until combined (do not overmix). Using 1/4 cup for each, make 16 meatballs and place in a 6-quart slow cooker.
  2. To prepare sauce & spaghetti: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add wine and boil for 1 minute. Add crushed and diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Pour the sauce over the meatballs.
  3. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.
  4. 30 minutes before you’re ready to eat, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions.
  5. Spoon any fat off the sauce; add oregano. Serve the meatballs and sauce over the spaghetti with extra Parmesan, if desired.

Tips & Notes

Nutrition

Nutrition Per Serving: 475 calories; 11 g fat (4 g sat, 4 g mono); 108 mg cholesterol; 61 g carbohydrates; 32 g protein; 11 g fiber; 704 mg sodium; 856 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (35% daily value), Magnesium & Zinc (32% dv), Iron (29% dv), Potassium (25% dv), Vitamin A (24% dv)

3 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 3 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat