Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs using a Slow Cooker

The ingredients for pasta sauce are much cheaper up here than a jar of proprietary sauce.  In my opinion the long slow cooking of the sauce is the key.

I had no fresh basil, so I had to use dried, but this would be really so much better with fresh.  I wanted this to be “traditional” in flavour, and now I know it works I shall be experimenting further.

This recipe provides two generous serves.




  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. crushed or minced garlic
  • 1 can Italian tomatoes
  • A little water to rinse out the can.
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. basil


  • ¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup fine dried breadcrumbs (see my recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. basil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 250 g minced pork
  • oil for frying


  • Enough spaghetti for two . I used Bucatini No. 15 because that is what I had.
  • Grated Romano for serving
  • Fresh basil for serving (if you can get it).



In the morning before work:


  1. Put the tomatoes and water through a mouli* into the slow cooker
  2. Add onion, garlic, tomato paste and basil; Stir.
  3. Turn the slow cooker on low, cover and leave it to cook all day

*This step is not really necessary.  I just wanted to use my new mouli. It makes a lovely puree.


  1. Make the meatball mixture by mixing the fresh crumbs and milk, then the egg, then the other ingredients. Mix well.
  2. Refrigerate covered and go to work

After Work:

  1. Roll the meat mixture into balls.
  2. Roll in the fine breadcrumbs to coat
  3. Fry in olive oil until meatballs are brown and cooked through
  4. Put the meatballs into the sauce while the spaghetti cooks.

The meatballs could be baked in the oven, but I broke my oven door.  This is quicker anyway.


  1. Cook spaghetti until al dente. Drain, but do not rinse
  2. Portion out the spaghetti on a plate and pour a ladle of sauce and meatballs on top
  3. Top with grated cheese and fresh basil if you have some. Serve.


I keep leftover bread and crusts in a bag in the freezer until I have enough to make a batch of crumbs.  I dry the bread in the oven at about 100C for a few hours, cool it and blend it finely in the blender along with a quarter teaspoon each of turmeric and paprika.  There is very little that uses breadcrumbs that could not use turmeric and paprika.




They could be baked in the oven if you wish


Into the sauce


Looking grate!


According to the Internet, we’ve been doing it wrong all these years.  This is how to cook spaghetti.

My stovetop is useless for maintaining a rolling boil. I should have used my electric wok. This method works however.


Enough left for tomorrow.





About Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
This entry was posted in Italian, Pasta, Pork, sauce, slow cooker and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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