Chrissy's Crock-Pot Meaty Italian Sauce ~Mommy Or Daddy's Quick & Easy Healthy Meal
Your time is precious and the time with your family is priceless since they grow so fast! But I have noticed that many families share a problem that comes down to time and energy, and priorities, and today fast paced living with the convenience of all this fast food, pizza, etc. at our fingertips makes for parents to go with a quick meal rather than cook. Kids, bills, homework, housework, and juggling our lives.
A healthy solution to control what your family eats, meal plan and budget is the amazing slow cooker! I have over 2000 recipes for my slow cooker. Here is one of my ultimate favorites.
Many of these meals are put everything in, turn it on walk away and it is done!
They even have crock-pot bags now that go inside of your crock-pot so clean up is a snap!
Let's get started!
1 Lbs grounds beef
1 packaged log style Italian sausage
1 Heaping tablespoon of minced garlic
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 Tablespoon parsley
1 Tablespoon basil
a pinch of allspice
1 can of Contadina tomato paste
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes or pureed
2 34 oz Large cans of tomato sauce (depending on the size of your slow cooker)
(It is ok to use the kind that have Italian seasoning)
1 finely chopped onion
1 finely chopped red or orange sweet pepper
2 cups of sliced mushrooms (2 cans can be used instead of fresh)
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
Start by browning your meat and strain fat off. If you prefer to not strain your meat you can add it raw and crumbled to your sauce and let it cook 6-8 hours.
I then brown your can of Contadina tomato paste with the meat, garlic and seasoning. When the tomato paste comes out of the can it is red, it will darken as it browns. Continually stir about 2 minutes on medium heat.
Next dump your meat mixture into your crock pot!
Lastly add, bay leaf, 2 large cans of tomato sauce, or diced tomatoes, along with chopped up red or orange bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, 1/2 cup red wine.
Turn it on low and slow cook it for as long as you want. I normally start it the night before I go to bed and let it go until the next day when I get home. But it is ready to eat in about 4-6 hours. It just makes my house smell so good!
Boil your choice of pasta for roughly 11-12 minutes, take and add 1/2 cup of the pasta water to your sauce and stir to help the sauce stick to the pasta with it's own natural starch from the pasta. Strain your pasta in a colander, do not rinse.
Plate and ladle your amazing sauce over the top.
Serve and top with your favorite cheese and garlic bread... Yummmmm
Many people like to add these amazing additions; zucchini, squash, olives, left over roast, steak, or pork chops, can also be added to add texture and additional flavor.
If your sauce is too runny a quick trick to thicken up your sauce with out losing flavor is simply to add 1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs, if it is still runny add another 1/4 cup bread crumbs.