My friend Judy Blalock gave me this recipe a long time ago. It's great for the crock-pot.
- 1 slice white bread
- 12 oz. lean ground sirloin
- ¼ cup grated Romano cheese (plus extra for topping)
- ½ tsp. each salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 6 Italian sausage links (3 hot, 3 sweet)
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cans (28 oz. each) whole tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
- 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 2 tsp. brown sugar
- ¾ tsp. each dried rosemary, basil and marjoram
- ¼ tsp. hot-pepper flakes
- Freshly cooked penne
Meatballs: Soak bread under cold running water until soft: squeeze dry. In a large bowl, combine bread, beef, cheese, salt, pepper and egg. Shape into 12 equal-size meatballs. Place in bottom of a 5 or 6-quart slow-cooker.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add sausages and onion; cook, stirring occasionally until browned, about 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to slow-cooker.
In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, garlic, brown sugar, herbs, and pepper flakes; pour over meat. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 5-6 hours until meat is cooked through.
Transfer sausages to cutting board; allow to cool slightly. Cut into 1-inch thick slices. Return to slow-cooker and stir. Serve over pasta and top with grated cheese.