Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Meatballs and Tomato Sauce

This can be as quick or as drawn out a process as you'd like. Even if you're just one, don't be intimidated by the large portions. Freezing in smaller portions will be a welcome meal on a busy night. I personally do not eat the spaghetti part of the "spaghetti and meatballs." I find that the meatballs are very filling, especially with a salad or some crusty sourdough bread. Mark likes the carbs though. We often buy spelt, or some other alternative grain for the pasta. He'll also eat a meatball sub, which consists of some sourdough chunks, with sauce, a few meatballs, and a slice of raw cheese on top!

This meal costs a little less than $2 per serving, not including the bread!

6am meatball recipe

makes about 30 1" balls

3 lb ground beef
1 c homemade breadcrumbs (see below)
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
3 eggs
1 t dried mix of italian seasoning
1 t each dried basil, thyme, salt, pepper

Slow cooker recipe:
Mix all ingredients, formed them into balls, and put in slow cooker 8 hours (low) with spaghetti sauce (recipe below).

You will likely have PLENTY of meatballs to freeze!

Fast Man's recipe:
I threw the meatballs together one morning at 6am, hence the name, and then put them in the fridge all day because I didn't have time to make the sauce.

When I got home, I transferred them to an olive oiled 9 x 11 pan and baked for about 30 minutes. We just reheated some Garden of Eden sauce, or whatever organic sauce from WF was on sale, along with some chopped peppers and onions for extra flavor.

Tomato Sauce
This is best made with fresh tomatoes, but I'm so not there yet, and my guess is that if you're reading this, you're not either.

2 can crushed or "kitchen ready" tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
2 onions, finely chopped
green pepper, finely chopped
1 c beef stock
1/2 c red wine
1 t each dried thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage
1 bay leaf
as many cloves of crushed garlic as you can handle!
pinch sugar
1 t sea salt
dash pepper
red pepper flakes
optional organic chicken or calves liver, soaked overnight in lemon juice, sauteed in butter and finely chopped

Combine ingredients either to the slow cooker before adding the meatballs, or in a large pot, to simmer 30+ minutes. Add water if you like a thinner sauce.

Homemade Bread Crumbs
If you find yourself with leftover bread that is going stale, or when we get to bread week and you decide you just can't stomach putting more refined grains into your body in such large quantities, you may want to either feed the birds, or make some bread crumbs.

*Let bread get a bit stale in the open air, or proceed to next step immediately.
*Cut or break up into smallish pieces, and toast in the oven.
*Transfer to a blender or food processor, add dried herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil) and process til you have a crumb size you can live with.
*Freeze and take out small portions at a time, as needed!


  1. Meg def update about the cow when you learn more! That's something i've thought of doing myself and I'd love to know more about what cuts you get and how much it costs

  2. Is there such a thing as organic bread crumbs for now?? What can I buy to substitute for that?