Pasta with meatballs is the one meal I can make for my kids and never get a complaint. Sadly, this is not a recipe that I learned from my family, who is Italian. My grandmother, who was a working mom long before it was the norm, prefers jarred sauce. My mother never made meatballs claiming they were too time consuming. I perfected this recipe over the years and could probably make it in my sleep. Tested by friends and family alike, it always gets a thumbs up!
(1) 28oz. can of petite diced tomatoes
2 small cans of tomato paste
4 ½ cups of water
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
3 teaspoons of minced garlic or 6 cloves
1 ½ lbs of ground chuck*
1 ½ tablespoons of dried oregano
1 ½ tablespoons of garlic salt
1/8 to ¼ cup of breadcrumbs
*I always use ground chuck or ground round. I have tried to use turkey, but the lack of fat in the meat takes away from the flavor of the dish. If you make the sauce ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight, you can easily spoon off the fat.
Place the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, garlic and oregano in a large pot. In a separate bowl, crack the egg and mix with the oregano and garlic salt. (Yes, it’s a lot of salt. I have used garlic powder in the past and it just doesn’t do the trick. The meatballs do not taste salty at all – trust me.)
This meal can also be made in the crockpot. I have left it to cook 4 hours on high. Omit 1 cup of water since it does not vent. When the pasta is cooking, remove the lid from the crockpot to let some of the water evaporate.