It’s been a busy school year for us so far, and one thing I’ve been using A LOT lately is my slow cooker! We have several evenings of driving the kids back and forth to activities, but on Thursdays I usually stay and watch my daughter’s game until 8:30/9 PM, so what we need when we get back home is dinner ready STAT. It’s bad enough eating so late, but at least with my slow cooker ready to go, there’s very little I have to do at that point to get dinner on the table. That’s why I’m excited to share this classic Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese recipe with a food processor (and slow cooker!) shortcut.
I sure do love a bolognese with a mixture of beef and pork, as opposed to an all-beef spaghetti sauce, and this one really hits the spot with the cooler weather we’re finally having here in NC. I served it the other night with a salad and some super quick garlic toast (I spread a thin layer of butter on sandwich bread sprinkled with garlic powder and put it under the broiler in the oven for about a minute). It was devoured by all!
Anyone else been having family dinner at 9 PM this school year? Honestly, if it means we’re all sitting down eating together (and hearing about everyone’s days), I’ll take it … no matter what time of night it is! I know I only have so many more years left of this precious time with my girls.
Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 4 ounce pack diced pancetta or you can dice your own
- 1 onion peeled, trimmed, and roughly chopped
- 4 ribs celery trimmed and roughly chopped
- 4 carrots peeled, trimmed, and roughly chopped
- 5 cloves garlic peeled and mashed
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 2 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Cooked whole-wheat spaghetti noodles
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese optional garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the beef, pork, and pancetta, and cook while stirring until brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked meat to the bottom of the slow cooker, leaving the cooking fat in the pan.
- In a food processor, combine the onion, veggies, and garlic and process until finely chopped. Put the skillet back over medium heat and add the veggies. Cook while stirring until they begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine to the pan (carefully to avoid flare-ups) and boil down until almost evaporated. Stir in the tomato paste and then add the mixture to the slow cooker.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes and top with seasonings. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Skim off the fat if desired (and discard). Serve over whole-wheat spaghetti noodles garnished with fresh parm, a salad, and some homemade garlic toast on the side.