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Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs

Meatballs:
1 Tbsp.extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely diced onion
1 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup finely diced carrots
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 slice whole wheat bread torn into pieces
1 each egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup non-fat milk
1 lb. lean ground turkey
3/4 lb. reduced fat, Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Sauce:
4 cups baby spinach, washed
2 cans (14.5 ounces) unsalted, diced tomatoes with liquid
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 Tbsp.chopped fresh basil
1 can (16 oz.) garbanzo beans with liquid
1 lb. whole wheat spaghetti
Grated parmesan cheese, as needed

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium sauté pan. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook until vegetables are soft and garlic is aromatic, approximately 15 minutes; let cool. Combine bread, egg, and milk in a large bowl. Add onion mixture, ground turkey, and turkey sausage. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Pre-heat the oven at 375°F. Form mixture into 2-1/2-inch balls. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet; do not let touch. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through. For the sauce, put the spinach in the bottom of a 4-quart slow cooker. Pour both cans of tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, garbanzo beans, and cooked meatballs into the slow cooker. Cover and cook all ingredients on low for 8-10 hours. When ready to serve, boil a large pot of water. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package directions. Drain. Place a portion of spaghetti on each plate, top with sauce, meatballs, and grated parmesan cheese. Serves 6 to 10

 

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