Meatballs Bayonnaise with Spicy Tomato and Pepper Sauce

1 28-ounce can tomato puree
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup crumbled French bread
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 pounds ground beef chuck (I used lean ground beef)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
Freshly ground pepper 

Stir together the tomato puree, peppers, onion, 1 teaspoon salt, crushed red pepper, and bay leaf.  Pour half of the sauce into a large slow cooker.

In a small bowl, soak the bread in the milk for a few minutes.  Lightly squeeze the bread and discard the milk.  Spread the flour on a piece of wax paper.

In a large bowl, mix together the soaked bread, ground beef, parsley, garlic, egg, cumin marjoram, and salt and pepper to taste.  Moisten your hands and shape the mixture into 2-inch balls.  Lightly roll the meatballs in the flour.

Transfer the meatballs to the slow cooker and top with the remaining sauce.  Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, or until the meatballs are cooked through.  Discard the bay leaf and serve hot.