low-and-slow essentials: mighty, meaty pasta sauce

a recipe by
Andy Anderson !
Wichita, KS

I keep trying to work on my Aunt Josephine’s Sunday gravy, and I keep getting off track. This is another example of that. It is a great pasta sauce that gets its mellow flavors from spending a bit of time in the slow cooker. Just the right amount of heat and spice. If you want a really good pasta sauce that is loaded with flavor, check this one out. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

serves Several
prep time 25 Min
cook time 3 Hr
method Slow Cooker Crock Pot

Ingredients For low-and-slow essentials: mighty, meaty pasta sauce

  • PLAN/PURCHASE
  • MEATS
  • 2 - 3 slice
    thick slab bacon
  • 1/2 lb
    ground italian sausage
  • 1/2 lb
    ground beef, i prefer chuck
  • VEGGIES
  • 1 md
    yellow onion, grated
  • 2 - 3 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 1 md
    red or green bell pepper, seeded, and finely diced
  • SPICES
  • 1 tsp
    coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp
    dehydrated onions, ground
  • 1 tsp
    dried oregano
  • 1 tsp
    dried basil
  • 1 tsp
    dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 tsp
    dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp
    celery salt
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • salt, kosher variety, to taste
  • black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • WET
  • 2 Tbsp
    tomato paste
  • 8 oz
    tomato puree, 1 can
  • 14 oz
    diced tomatoes, 1 can, with juice
  • 1 c
    beef stock, not broth
  • OPTIONAL
  • sliced black olives
  • worcestershire sauce
  • parmesan cheese

How To Make low-and-slow essentials: mighty, meaty pasta sauce

  • 1
    PREP/PREPARE
  • 2
    What will you need? You will need a slow cooker/Insta Pot to make this recipe. And, depending on your type of cooker, you may be able to do the whole thing in the cooker’s pot. I am using a heavy-bottom pot to cook the veggies and meats, and then placing it in the slow cooker, but that is my choice.
  • 3
    What is Slow Cooker Pasta Sauce? Well, it is basically a really good pasta sauce that gets its mellow flavors by low-and-slow cooking it in the slow cooker/Insta Pot. The spice list is what I used; however, you could vary the ingredients… maybe a bit more heat, or a bit more sweet. The fun is in the experimentation.
  • 4
    What to serve with Slow Cooker Pasta Sauce? The obvious thing to serve it with is pasta… any kind of pasta :-) In my last recipe image, I put the sauce into a cast iron skillet, covered it with cheese and put it under the boiler for a bit of time. Then served it with crusty bread. YUMMY
  • 5
    How to store Slow Cooker Pasta Sauce? This recipe will survive in the fridge for 8 – 10 days. If you put it into freezer bags and freeze, it will last about 4 – 5 months. If you vacuum seal, it will last for over a year. Vacuum sealing is the way to go :-)
  • 6
    OPTIONAL ITEMS I have listed several items, defined as “optional.” Worcestershire Sauce: Just a tablespoon of this versatile sauce adds a very nice depth to this recipe, but a little goes a long way. And, if you want a Worcestershire without anchovies, check out my homemade version: https://www.justapinch.com/recipes/sauce-spread/other-sauce-spread/diy-essentials-homemade-worcestershire-sauce.html Black Olives: To me these are not an option, and my Aunt Jo, used to always put them in. They add an almost tart essences to the sauce. Parmesan Cheese: A tablespoon or two of grated cheese stirred into the sauce before serving will really brighten up its flavors. Of course, you always want to taste the sauce as you are cooking it. I usually find myself adding a bit more salt towards the end. And, if the weather is turning cold, I might just add a bit of cayenne pepper. Plus, if you want to go more towards the Puttanesca side of the family, how about throwing in a few capers.
  • 7
    Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  • 8
    Add the bacon to a pot over medium-low heat.
  • 9
    Slowly cook until crispy and all the fat has been rendered, about 8 – 10 minutes.
  • 10
    Reserve the bacon, then remove all but 2 – 3 tablespoons of the bacon grease.
  • 11
    If you have extra bacon fat, I recommend saving it for other recipes.
  • 12
    Toss in the onions, garlic, beef, and sausage, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.
  • 13
    Cook until the meat browns, and the onions soften, but not burn, about 15 minutes.
  • 14
    Add the diced bell pepper. Cook, while stirring, until they begin to soften, about 3 – 5 minutes.
  • 15
    Add the tomato paste, and all the dry ingredients, then stir for about 2 minutes.
  • 16
    Place in the bowl of your slow cooker and add the remainder of the wet ingredients. Stir until combined.
  • 17
    Set the slow cooker to low, and kick back for about 2.5 hours.
  • 18
    In the last 30 minutes, open the slow cooker and add the black olives and reserved bacon. Then allow to slowly cook for the remaining 30 minutes.
  • 19
    If you do not want to add the olives and bacon directly to the sauce, you can sprinkle them on as a garnish.
  • 20
    PLATE/PRESENT
  • So Yummy
    21
    Serve with pasta or however you choose. Enjoy
  • Stud Muffin
    22
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.
  • Peace
    23
    Namasté

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