Slow Cooker Italian Pasta Sauce (just like grandma used to make)
Most of my childhood was filled with memories surrounded around good old fashioned family meals. One of my grandmothers moved here from Greece and my Nana and Papa were both from Italy. They had many amazing recipes that have been passed down through my family .
Growing up I always enjoyed time in the kitchen learning these recipes. One of which was my Nana’s pasta sauce. It is that amazing kind of sauce that simmers on the stove all day – leaving one hungry and in anticipation for dinner time. The only problem with this recipe, it takes all day to make. Mama doesn’t have time for that anymore.
So, I recently had a thought. What if I attempted to make her sauce in the slow cooker? I had to make some additions and changes to her recipe. Gasp. (Family, don’t kill me over this.) Ha. But, she never added any wine to her sauce and I feel like it needs a little bit of that kick. I also add in bone broth for a bit more flavor and health benefits.
One of the many benefits of being a blogger, we create these types of projects just so that we can share them with all of our virtual friends. Wink. And then our husbands also get to enjoy all of the yummy creations that we make. Mine never complains!
Italian Meat Sauce
- 1 medium onion, chopped small
- 6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup olive oil (plus a little more for the pan)
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- 2 large cans of crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
- 2 small cans of tomato paste (6 oz)
- 1 tablespoon of oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- ½ cup of red wine (I like a sweet red wine for this sauce – something like a Lambrusco would be good)
- ½ cup of bone broth (chicken or beef work great)
- 1 pound of ground beef, browned and drained
- Turn slow cooker to high and drizzle a little bit of olive oil to coat the bottom.
- Add in chopped onion and sliced garlic. Allow to cook until translucent, approximately 15 minutes and time will vary depending on your slow cooker. Check on it and stir periodically. You can cook this on a stove top a lot faster, but I wanted to save myself some dishes.
- Add in remaining ingredients. And turn slow cooker to low; allow to simmer for about 6-8 hours.
- Serve over your favorite pasta or for a low carb option, over spaghetti squash. Tonight, I’m using some of the sauce for a delicious lasagna.
This recipe makes a huge batch for storage. It freezes and cans well.