This is one of the first things that I learned to cook from my mom. I’ve said before the very first thing I ever learned to cook was scrambled eggs. But, early into my cooking adventures, somewhere around the age of 12, I wanted to learn how to make spaghetti sauce.
Spaghetti has always been one of my favourite meals, so much so, I often request it on my birthday (especially when paired with Caesar salad and red wine -yum!). We ate it often growing up and it always makes me think of family and home.
This sauce is similar to a Bolognese, but by no means accurate to the traditional Italian definition of ragu Bolognese. But, in my house anyways, this is what we call spaghetti Bolognese.
When I first learned to make this recipe I learned to make it on the stovetop, and this recipe works that way too, but more recently I have learned it works just as well in the slow cooker and requires much less time and supervision.
This recipe makes enough sauce for 4-6 servings.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 can of Crushed Tomatoes
1 Yellow Onion, finely diced
2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed or diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 large Carrot, peeled and diced
1 package of Mild Italian Sausage (pork), or 1 lb of Lean Ground Beef
Salt & Pepper
1 tsp Oregano (or fresh if you have it)
1 tsp Basil (or fresh)
1 tsp Garlic powder
*Optional: if you’ve got it, a 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of red wine, then save some to pair with it!
- Prepare all of your ingredients: open the tomatoes, diced the onion, crush the garlic, dice the pepper, and peel and dice the carrot.
- If you are using mild italian sausage, remove the casings, break up the sausage, and sauté in a frying pan until cooked through. If you are using ground beef, simply cook the ground beef in a pan. The reason for cooking the meat before putting it in the slow cooker is to ensure it cooks completely as it may not in the slow cooker.
- Once the meat has cooked through, toss the meat, and all of the ingredients into the slow cooker. Mix thoroughly.
- Set the slow cooker to high and cook for 4-6 hours.
- Half way through cooking, around the 2 or 3 hour mark, stir the sauce.
- Once the sauce is cooked you can prepare your preferred pasta, I like spaghetti or linguine. Alternatively you can allow the sauce to cool and freeze it for future use. This is one of my favourite freezer meals!
This sauce is the perfect easy spaghetti sauce. Thick enough to cling to the noodles but still the right saucy tomato-ness. Slightly sweetened by the carrots and bell pepper, but also deliciously savory. Rich but also fresh. It’s just one of those recipes where you can’t go wrong; it’s a comfort food favourite.
I’d love to know if you give it a try and what you think!