These meatballs taste just like your nonna’s without any pre-cooking or tending to—just throw them in the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients. The recipe makes enough meatballs and sauce to serve with two pounds of pasta. They are also delicious over polenta, stuffed into sub rolls or as a pizza topping.
For the sauce: Pour the tomatoes into a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker and crush by hand. Stir in the tomato paste, olive oil, oregano, pepper flakes, garlic, bay leaves and 2 teaspoons salt.
For the meatballs: Place the onions, carrots, celery, parsley and garlic in a food processor and pulse to make a paste. Transfer to a large bowl and add the beef, pork, eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmesan and 1 teaspoon salt. Form into 1 1/2-inch meatballs (you should get about 20 to 24) and nestle into the sauce in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or low for 7 to 8 hours. Discard the bay leaves before serving.
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