I have a confession to make. I hardly ever use my slow cooker. It sits on a shelf above my washer. It collects dust, so much I have to wash it before I use it. But I’m here to say today that all that’s all going to change. My crock pot is getting a new home, on my kitchen counter. I’m going to put it in easy reach so I remember to use it more often.
Slow cookers make things so much easier. I was reminded of that yesterday when I really wanted good, slow simmered spaghetti sauce, but just didn’t have the time. Between laundry, cleaning the house, taking my son on a play date to the pool, and errands, my day had little time left. Compound those events with a few more unexpected ones thrown in, and there would have been no time for the typical slow simmered spaghetti sauce I usually make.
Around lunchtime, I placed all my ingredients in my slow cooker for my spaghetti sauce. I set it to low, and forgot about it. Later that evening when we were ready to eat, I quickly cooked the noodles, and the sauce was perfectly cooked and thick. I made a quick and easy Italian salad with lots of olives and dinner was done.
Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce
2 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 bell pepper, chopped finely
1 carrot chopped finely in the food processor
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1/2 cup red wine
2 – 28 oz cans Italian whole tomatoes, San Marzano is preferred
1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
1 small can tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
salt to taste
4 servings spaghetti
1. Preheat a large skillet. Add ground beef, carrots, onions, bell pepper and mushrooms. Cook until beef is browned.
2. Add beef and vegetable mix to slow cooker. Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, spices and garlic. Add wine and salt to taste.
3. Turn to low and cook for 6 – 8 hours.
Tip: If you don’t use San Marzano tomatoes, you may have to add a teaspoon or two of sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes.