Slow Cooker Bolognese

This Bolognese features a combination of only two meats, ground beef and sausage, but it produces superior results and it's even better the next day. It's great to freeze and have on handfor months.

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6 to 8 
KEY: Italian, American, Pasta & Noodles, Dinner, 7, Web Exclusive, Healthy, Fall, Winter

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  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet yellow onion, finely diced
  • 8 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground sausage, casings removed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 28-ounce cans (about 1 quart) San Marzano tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 10 large basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. In each of 2 large skillets, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic to one pan and the ground meat to the other. Season each pan with 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook until the onions and garlic have softened and are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste to the onions and cook for another 3 minutes. Cook the ground meat until lightly browned, about 6 minutes.
  2. Transfer the onion mixture and the meat to a slow cooker. Add the chopped tomatoes and their juices, thyme, oregano, basil, and the bay leaves. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high or for 8 hours on low. Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain and toss with the sauce. Transfer to plates, and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, a drizzling of olive oil, and chopped basil.

Make Ahead

The Bolognese can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Contributed By Photo © Sarah Bolla Published January 2014

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1042903 recipes/slow-cooker-bolognese 2015-09-14 Sarah Bolla italian|american|pasta-and-noodles|weeknight-dinner|6||8|web-exclusive|healthy|fall|winter january-2014 recipes,slow-cooker-bolognese 1042903