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Welcome to this slow cooker/crockpot blog. I believe slow cookers are the best thing to happen to modern day cooks. I used mine often when I worked outside the home and continue to do so even in retirement. It is so nice to put food on and forget about it. Slow cookers also allow us to cook many things we would normally have to use the oven for; what a relief in hot Texas weather! Some of these recipes are mine, many are ones I have collected over the years.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

SPIRAL PASTA WITH TURKEY MEATBALLS

2 cans (14.5-oz each) no-salt-added tomatoes with juice
1 can (8-oz) tomato sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup grated carrot
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1/2 tsp dried basil)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp sugar
black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp milk
1/4 cup dry Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
8-oz uncooked spiral (fusilli) pasta

Combine the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, onion, carrot, basil, garlic, thyme, sugar, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, and the bay leaf in a crockpot or slow cooker.  Using a large spoon, gently break up the tomatoes.  Place lid on cooker and cook for 4 to 5 hours.

About 45 minutes before the end of the cooking time, prepare the meatballs.  To prepare, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the ground turkey, egg, and milk together well.  Add the milk; blend in the bread crumbs and parsley and 1/8 tsp black pepper.  Wet hands and shape the mixture into small meatballs.  Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and arrange the meatballs on the baking sheet.  Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink in the center.  Add to the slow cooker or crockpot.  Replace lid and cook for another 45 minutes to 1 hour. 

Prepare the pasta according to the package directions; drain.

To serve, divide pasta into 4 serving shallow bowls.  Remove bay leaf from meatball mixture.  Divide the meatballs and sauce evenly over the pasta in the bowls.  Garnish as desired.

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