Meatballs In Tomato Sauce

Prep:     25 mins
Cook:    4 hrs
Serves: 6


2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 T tomato paste 1–2 large basil sprigs +
2 T basil leaves, thinly sliced, divided
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 lbs ground beef (minimum 20% fat)
3 T ground pork rinds
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 t sea salt
¼ t freshly ground black pepper

To create the tomato sauce:

Combine the diced tomatoes, olive oil, tomato paste, basil sprigs, and half of the garlic in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cover, and cook on HIGH for 3 hours, until the tomato sauce is very flavorful.

To create the meatballs:

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the ground beef with the remaining garlic and the ground pork rinds, egg, sea salt, and pepper. Roll the mixture into 18 meatballs. (*see tip below)

To assemble:

Add the meatballs to the sauce. Cover, and cook on HIGH for 1 hour longer, until no trace of pink remains in the centre of the meatballs.

Remove the basil sprigs, and discard.

Add 1 tablespoon of the sliced basil to the sauce, and season with salt and pepper.

Spoon the meatballs into bowls over zucchini noodles, sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sliced basil, and serve. Enjoy!

*Tip: Roll the meatballs until just formed and not more—overworking the meatballs will make them tough and chewy.