A few weeks ago I was hanging out on Instagram (nothing new there) and a person I follow posted a picture of this amazeballs spaghetti sauce they were doing in their slow cooker. I inquired after the recipe and they pointed me in the direction of Cooking Classy.
[Side note: I'd normally give the person that provided the information props for doing so but I cannot for the life of me remember who it was and I can't find the information in my Instagram feed - so if it was you please let me know so I can give you the appropriate shout out!]
Now, you need to know this about me; I am on a quest. A quest to find the bestest spaghetti sauce in all the land. It’s a quest I have been on since I first moved out of home all those years ago. It’s a quest I take very seriously and it’s a quest that I know I will one day complete. However, that day is not today.
I am now the closest I have ever been to finding that allusive perfect spaghetti sauce and it’s all because of Cooking Classy!
You can find Cooking Classy‘s original recipe here: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce – Authentic Italian Style. However, I tweaked it a little for the slow cooker so here’s what I did.
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce – Authentic Italian Style – In the Slow Cooker
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef (85% or 90%)
1 medium carrot, finely grated (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 (28 oz) cans crushed Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp dried sage
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 – 1 cup chicken or beef broth, to thin sauce if desired
freshly, finely grated Romano and Parmesan cheese or Mizithra cheese for serving
1. In a large fry pan heat the oil and brown the mince. Stir occasionally. When the mince is cooked through empty from fry pan, set aside 1 tablespoon of the fat that has been produced from cooking the mince.
2. Put the mince in a food processor (wait until the meat has cooled right down if you’re going to put the lid and pusher on, if you want to do it hot just leave the pusher out (I’m not sure if pusher is the right term, but it’s that thing that is in the shute.) so that the heat doesn’t built up in the processor chamber) pulse the meat until finely ground.
3. Place your chopped fresh herbs and dried herbs (not the bay leaves!!!) in the processor and pulse until mixed through the mince. Put aside.
4. In the fry pan saute the onion and carrot. Add the garlic just as the onion starts to turn transparent and continue to cook for another minute. (I learned this trick from Cooking Classy - it stops the garlic from spitting like a mad man!)
5. Remove from heat. Now add the mince and herb mix to the slow cooker and then add the onions, carrot, garlic, bay leaves, salt, pepper and canned tomatoes. Mix.
5. Turn the slow cooker on low and leave to cook for a minimum of 5 hours. Stir the sauce occasionally. If the sauce starts to get too think you can use the broth (or stock) to thin the sauce to desired consistency.
6. Once cooked, remove bay leaves and served with cooked pasta. Top with grated cheese and fresh parsley or basil (or both) if desired.
Original recipe: Cooking Classy Spaghetti with Meat Sauce – Authentic Italian Style
This recipe makes a bucket load of sauce, so I made it up and then put half in the freezer. I really enjoyed the sauce but it lacked a little sweetness. I didn’t use Roma tomatoes so I’d be keen to try it with those as the original recipe stated. (We added tomato sauce at the table to try and get that sweetness… I know, blasphemy!)
I’m actually considering trying this sauce in the lasagne that I make. I loved the pureed consistency of the sauce so much better than the big chunky minced meat we usually make.
So the quest continues… If you have a recipe for a spaghetti sauce that you think is the bestest in all the land please let me know I’d love to make it!