Slow Cooker Italian Sausage Meatballs With Chianti Sauce and Fusilli

Rib-sticking Italian sausage meatballs, swathed in slow cooker Chianti sauce, top fusilli. [Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

About the author: Jennifer Olvera is a veteran food and travel writer and author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Chicago." Follow her on Twitter @olverajennifer.

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Slow Cooker Italian Sausage Meatballs With Chianti Sauce and Fusilli

About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 4
Active time:15 minutes
Total time:6 hours, 15 minutes
Special equipment:Slow cooker
This recipe appears in: Slow Cooker Italian Sausage Meatballs With Chianti Sauce and Fusilli
Rated:

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded, plus additional for garnishing
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole Italian tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup Chianti or other dry red wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pound fusilli or other short, ridged or tubular pasta

Procedures

  1. 1

    Place Italian sausage, ground beef, egg, oats, parsley and Parmesan in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and combine with hands, taking care not to over-mix. Form into 1 1/2-inch meatballs and place in the slow cooker.

  2. 2

    Add hand-crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, garlic, onion, and vinegar. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir gently to combine, being careful not to break up or crush meatballs, cover and set slow cooker on low for 6 hours. Halfway through cooking, flip meatballs and bathe them in sauce.

  3. 3

    When sauce is ready, taste and adjust seasonings. Cook pasta according to package directions. Individually top pasta with meatballs and sauce and garnish with Parmesan, or serve family-style.

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