With busy schedules, it can be difficult to find the time to cook a meal from scratch. One top of this, it can also be challenging to make something that the kids will enjoy. A popular meal option for many families is pasta. While you can buy a package of dried pasta and a jar of sauce, this slow cooker recipe for bolognese sauce will elevate pasta night to another level. The sauce also freezes very well if you are looking to make it in advance. Clean up can also be a breeze if you use a slow cooker liner.
Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce
Serves: 6 – 8 servings
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 carrots, finely diced or grated
2 celery sticks, finely diced
1 lb ground beef (we suggest 90/10)
1 lb ground pork
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar (increase this amount slightly if tomato sauces taste too acidic for you)
1 cup dry red or white wine
2 cans of crushed tomatoes (28 oz cans)
1 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
- Heat 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onion, carrots, and celery until the onion is translucent. Add 1/3 parsley and minced garlic and stir for one minute. Make sure to incorporate all the ingredients evenly. Place the mixture into the slow cooker.
- Heat the skillet again and add ground beef and ground pork. Add a couple of pinches of salt and pepper. Sauté the ground meat mixture until thoroughly cooked. Add wine and let the mixture come up to a simmer. Cook for 5-10 minutes to let the alcohol evaporate. Place the mixture into the slow cooker.
- Add the cans of crushed tomatoes, 1 cup milk, 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg to the slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. You want a consistency slightly thicker than normal spaghetti sauce. If the bolognese looks too thin, cook the last 30 – 45 minutes without the lid on.
- Once the desired consistency is reached, you can season the bolognese with additional salt and pepper. If you prefer a little bit of spice, you can also add 1 – 2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper.
- Serve the bolognese over your favorite pasta and sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. For additional flavor, add the bolognese and slightly under-cooked pasta along with 1 – 2 tablespoons of pasta water into a skillet. Stir gently until the pasta is fully cooked.