In a large bowl, combine ground beef,pork, crackers, parsley, Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder and beaten egg and a splash of milk. Mix well and form into 18 balls. Store, covered, in refrigerator until needed.
In a medium skillet saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent. Add to a large crockpot Stir in tomatoes, salt, and bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon pepper. cook on low for 6-8 hours. (I didn't need to add any water or tomato paste)
Cook meatballs on a rimmed cookie sheet on 375 for 20-30 min untill cooked through. Drain grease and add meatballs to crockpot for the last hour or so.