Easy to make rich and rustic Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese, with a sauce packed with so much flavour to coat your pasta (or vegetables) of choice!
Making bolognese is so simple over stove top, BUT, in the slow cooker? Even better when the slow cooker does all the work. It’s the ONLY way we love our bolognese. The ground meat becomes so incredibly soft and tender, it falls apart all over your pasta. This family recipe makes enough to freeze any left overs for any emergency dinner situations, OR enough for the next day. Just boil up some more pasta and you have a restaurant quality meal two days in a row! NO COOKING! Well, except for boiling the pasta, which is simple itself. OR, do what we do and use the leftovers to smother ALL over toast. Um HELLO.
What I have found over the years of making this sauce is browning the meat first before adding it into the slow cooker tastes a MILLION times better. I used to throw it all in the slow cooker without browning the meat first, but was never a number one fan of the ‘stewed meat’ flavour. I also found frying off your onion and garlic first adds to the epic flavour, and you all know how much good flavour is important to me.
The sauce is so versatile, you can serve it over pasta, like the spaghetti pictured here 👇👇👇, BUT I usually opt to serve this sauce over zucchini noodles, or steamed vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and pumpkin when low carbing or low calorie counting. Mmmmmmm Y.U.M.The sauce is so thick and rich, full of unmistakable Italian flavours.
The school holidays have been so FULL of carbs, like this pictured spaghetti situation from last week, that I’m busting for the holidays to be over, as much as I love my kids.
The addition of carrots in my sauce adds some sweetness through the tomatoes. You will no doubt love this sauce just as much as we do!
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- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 brown onions, finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced (or 1 tablespoon minced garlic)
- 1 kg | 2 pounds lean ground beef
- ½ cup (125 ml) red wine (optional -- can be replaced with beef broth)
- 2x 28-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup (250 ml) beef stock
- 6 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 tablespoon vegetable stock powder (or 2 beef bouillon cubes, crushed)
- 2-3 teaspoons salt, adjust to your tastes
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano (or 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, finely chopped)
- 2 teaspoons dried basil (or 2 teaspoons fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar (or a natural granulated sweetener that measures equally to sugar)
- Cracked pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup fresh, chopped parsley
- To serve:
- Spaghetti or other pasta, cooked (500 g | 1 pound pasta, dry weight)
- Shredded Parmesan cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic; cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the beef, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon. Fry until just beginning to brown (about 2-3 minutes); transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker bowl.
- Return the skillet to the stove; pour in the wine while scraping any bits of the fried meat from the pan. Bring to a gentle simmer and transfer to the slow cooker bowl.
- To the slow cooker bowl: add in the crushed tomatoes, beef stock, tomato paste, carrot, stock powder (or crushed bouillon cubes), salt, oregano, basil, sugar and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or high for 3-4 hours. Add in the chopped parsley before serving.
- In the last 15 minutes of cooking time, boil pasta in salted water following packet instructions. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta water. Pour the reserved water back into the pasta along with 2 cups cooked bolognese sauce. Stir until the sauce is thick enough to coat the pasta. Serve with parmesan cheese and (extra) chopped parsley, if desired.
Nutrition information is based on per serve out of 9 serves. The recipe states serves 8, but you will have about 2 serves of left overs!
© 2016, Karina. All rights reserved. CAFE DELITES. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to share this recipe, please provide a link back to this post for the original recipe.