Frugal Foodie Mama: Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

Friday, October 30, 2020

Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

Rich & hearty, this homemade bolognese sauce simmers in your slow cooker all day. Just serve with rigatoni or tagliatelle for comfort food perfection. 


Rich & hearty, this homemade bolgnese sauce simmers in your slow cooker all day. Just serve with rigatoni or tagliatelle for comfort food perfection.



Well, folks... I think the start of comfort food season has officially arrived. The temps have started to drop slightly, the leaves are falling off of the trees, and I have actually had to turn on the heat a few times after waking up in the morning to a cold house. I know we typically think of bowls of cozy soups and cheesy casseroles as traditional comfort food, but I am about to step up your homemade comfort food game with this slow cooker recipe for an easy and flavorful bolognese sauce.

I fell in love with bolognese sauce earlier this year when my boyfriend helped to open a new Italian restaurant just north of Pittsburgh. There, they slow simmer their bolognese sauce on the stovetop all day and then serve it over homemade tagliatelle pasta. It quickly became my go-to pasta dish to order off the menu almost every time that I would drive up to visit my boyfriend while he was working at the restaurant.

Since I can't always make the two hour drive to the restaurant when I have a bolognese craving, I decided it was time to come up with my own homemade version of my new favorite comfort food. I did consult with the chef of the restaurant as to what his must-have ingredients are for a good, traditional sauce. And since I know that most of us do not have the time (nor the patience) to simmer & stir a pot of homemade bolognese over the stove all day, I decided that a slow cooker adaptation for the recipe was necessary.


Rich & hearty, this homemade bolgnese sauce simmers in your slow cooker all day. Just serve with rigatoni or tagliatelle for comfort food perfection.



So what makes bolognese sauce different from a traditional meat sauce? 

Well, first it starts with sauteed veggies- celery, carrots, and onion- otherwise known as Mirepoix. Traditional bolognese typically uses a blend of both ground veal or beef and ground pork. It also has a rich flavor thanks to the addition of crispy pancetta, white wine, heavy cream, and butter.



Rich & hearty, this homemade bolgnese sauce simmers in your slow cooker all day. Just serve with rigatoni or tagliatelle for comfort food perfection.


Since bolognese is such a hearty and meaty sauce, it is best served over a wider, more substantial pasta like tagliatelle or rigatoni. 


Here are a few tips & tricks for making this homemade bolognese sauce:

  • I use ground beef in this recipe because it is more budget friendly, but feel free to splurge a little and use ground veal instead.
  • The chef at the restaurant recommended that I use white wine in my bolognese sauce, but you could definitely use red wine instead if that is what you have on hand. Red wine will give the sauce a more robust flavor.
  • I like my bolognese sauce to have a slightly finer texture to it, so I hit it with my immersion blender a few times before stirring in the heavy cream and butter. You can do this while it is still in the slow cooker. This is a totally optional step. If you prefer your sauce a little chunkier, then skip the immersion blending. 
  • If you end up having a hard time finding pancetta, you could chop up thick sliced bacon and use that in this recipe instead.


Rich & hearty, this homemade bolgnese sauce simmers in your slow cooker all day. Just serve with rigatoni or tagliatelle for comfort food perfection.





Yield: Serves 8
Author: Carrie Robinson
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Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce

Prep time: 15 min Cook time: 6 hours & 15 min Total time: 6 hours & 30 min

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 oz. pancetta, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. dry Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once heated, add in the pancetta. Saute until browned, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the celery, carrots, onion, and garlic. Season with salt & pepper. Saute for 2-3 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Pour in the white wine. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Transfer the pancetta/veggies mixture to the slow cooker.
  2. Return the skillet to the heat and add in the ground beef and pork. Cook, stirring frequently until the meat is browned, about 4-6 minutes. Add the browned meat to the veggies in the slow cooker.
  3. Add in the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and Italian seasoning to the slow cooker. Give it a quick stir. Cook on Low for 6 hours. 
  4. During the last 30 minutes of slow cooking, add in the heavy cream and butter. Stir until well incorporated and the butter is melted. Taste & season with additional salt & pepper, if needed. 
  5. *If you would like a finer ground to your sauce, take an immersion blender to it right before serving.
  6. Serve over your favorite pasta with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, if desired. 
  7. Enjoy!
Created using The Recipes Generator


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