Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce with Spaghetti
4 hr 30 min
4 hr 15 min
Every cook needs a class Italian meat sauce in their recipe repertoire. The telltale orange colour of classic Bolognese sauce comes from the addition of milk toward the end of cooking. It's a surprising ingredient that adds a silky body to the sauce and tenderness to the meat. If you're gluten-free, serve this sauce over spiralized veggie noodles or gluten-free pasta.
Uncooked fennel bulb(s)
1 item(s), small, chopped
1 small, chopped
1 medium, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 stalk(s), medium, cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 clove(s), large, minced
Uncooked 93% lean ground beef
Uncooked 96% lean ground pork
Crushed red pepper flakes
Canned crushed tomatoes
Grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup(s), divided
2% reduced fat milk
Uncooked whole wheat spaghetti
½ cup(s), fresh, chopped
- Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add fennel, onion, carrot, and celery; cook, stirring, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beef, pork, salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper; cook, breaking up meat with side of wooden spoon, until browned, 6–8 minutes. Transfer to 5- or 6-quart slow cooker.
- Stir tomatoes into beef mixture. Cover and cook until sauce is slightly thickened, 3 1/2 hours on Low. Stir in 1/4 cup of Parmesan and the milk. Cover and cook 30 minutes on Low.
- Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in same large pot according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
- Divide spaghetti evenly among 8 bowls; top evenly with meat sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan and the basil.
- Serving size: a scant 1 cup pasta, 3/4 cup sauce, and 1 tbsp Parmesan
Store the sauce in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 4 days or freeze up to 4 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and gently reheat.