SOURCE: National Pork Board

August 28, 2014 17:53 ET

Easy Ways to Go Italian

With Slow-Cooked Pork Meatball Sandwiches

MISSION, KS--(Marketwired - Aug 28, 2014) - (Family Features) What's not to love about slow cooking? You combine a few ingredients and let them simmer all day in your slow cooker -- and then comes the best part -- coming home to a house filled with the most delicious aroma that hints at the meal that's yet to come.

Slow cooking is perfect for busy fall schedules -- it's an easy way to makes sure you and your family can still enjoy a home-cooked meal together no matter how hectic your day becomes. Pork is ideal for this cooking method because there are so many different ingredients you can pair with it to easily create crave-worthy meals influenced by both familiar flavors and tastes from around the world.

With Italian Stuffed Pork Meatball Sandwiches, lean ground pork combines with Italian-inspired ingredients like tomato sauce, garlic and red pepper flakes to form meatballs that are then stuffed with mozzarella. After slow cooking for six to eight hours, the meatballs are packed with savory flavor -- and you'll love the warm, melted cheese when you bite into them.

Serve these meatballs -- topped with the tomato sauce -- as a sandwich using a sub-style bun with a side of garlic fries and vegetables. If you have leftovers, you can add them to spaghetti for an equally tasty Italian-themed dinner with garlic bread and a side salad.

Craving more pork? See what kind of tasty culinary adventures people across the country are taking with pork and get inspired to take your own by visiting PorkBucketList.com. You can also visit PorkBeinspired.com and Pinterest.com/PorkBeinspired for mouthwatering recipes to ensure your next meal includes juicy, tender pork.

 
Italian Stuffed Pork Meatball Sandwich 
Servings: 4 to 5  
   
1 pound ground pork, lean
2 eggs, whisked
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup fresh mozzarella balls, about 12 to 15 of small size
1 28-ounce jar tomato sauce
  Submarine-style buns
   

In large bowl, combine whisked eggs, garlic powder and red pepper flakes. Add ground pork and breadcrumbs and mix together until evenly combined.

Form ground pork mixture into small meatballs, each the size of a golf ball.

Insert mozzarella ball in center of each meatball, taking care to re-form meatball around cheese once it's been added. (The cheese should not be visible.)

Place tomato sauce in bottom of slow cooker and add meatballs on top.

Turn slow cooker on and cook over high heat for 6 hours or low heat for 8 hours. Carefully rotate meatballs after half the cooking time to make sure they cook evenly.

To serve, place three meatballs plus sauce in submarine bun.

Quick Tip: Try substituting regular breadcrumbs with equal amounts of panko bread crumbs, or any kind of pasta or red sauce available.

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