A Super-Easy Homemade Pasta Sauce That Cooks All Day
Spaghetti is always a family favorite, especially when topped with a slow-simmered, homemade sauce that's bursting with old-world Italian flavor. Rather than grab for a jar of sauce from the grocery store, make a batch in your Crock-Pot to satisfy your family's taste buds and save a little money too. You'll come home to the delicious smell; plus, there will be leftover sauce for a rerun, so make a double batch of pasta for a no-cook night later in the week.
Total Time: 8 hours and 15 minutes | Prep Time: 15-20 minutes | Serves: 8
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the chopped onion and minced garlic in the olive oil until translucent and golden brown.
- Add the ground beef and ground pork to the skillet. Brown the meats over medium heat, stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon to break the meat up into smaller chunks as it cooks.
- When browned, pour out the excess fat from the meats and discard.
- Plug in a 6-quart slow cooker and turn it to its high setting to warm up. Add the browned meats to the cooker.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, water, basil, oregano, thyme, chili powder, brown sugar, bay leaves, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Cover, and change the slow cooker to its low setting.
- Cook for 8 hours on low.
- Remove the bay leaves and pour the hot sauce over freshly cooked pasta to serve.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Depending on your taste, you can substitute ground turkey or Italian sausage, removed from its casing, for the meat in this recipe. Vegetarians can leave out the meat altogether and substitute sauteed veggies instead.
Store leftovers in the refrigerators within 2 hours after cooking is finished for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a saucepan to a temperature of 165F.
For a bit of smoky flavor, substitute 1/2 cup of the water for 1/2 cup of plain brewed coffee. Those who like a spicier version can add 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
The ingredients for this sauce can be prepared and combined the night before so you can set and forget the Crock-Pot in the morning.
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.