Classic Italian Meat Sauce

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Classic Italian Meat Sauce

Why am I always searching?  Why am I never satisfied? 

When I first got my Blackberry, I thought it was the most amazing phone ever.  Now, I want an iPhone or a Droid.  It’s why my kitchen counter looks like a small kitchen appliance store.  And even, if I left it all for the simpler life, I imagine I would still be sitting on the couch circling the next best cow in the cow catalogue.  And if one chicken coop is good, three is better.

It’s the same with recipes.  I find good ones, great ones, amazing ones, but I don’t stop.  I rarely make the same one twice, because what if…what if I missed that one perfect, amazing recipe?? 

So, even though I have made countless meat sauces, if I come across one I haven’t tried, I try it.  So, while paging through Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker CookbookI found this recipe.  It was good.  A bit more soupy than others, I think because you don’t lose any of the liquid to evaporation.   ***Note.  Just as I was typing in the recipe, I noticed the reduce by 1/2 volume note on the wine.  OOOPS.   Recipe may or may not be more soupy than others, if you follow the directions!

Classic Italian Meat Sauce

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium-size yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 medium-size carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine, such as a Chianti
  • Two 28 ounce cans whole tomatoes with their juice
  • One 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup beef broth

*Note, I finely chop my onions, celery and carrots in a food processor, I like the consistency better for a meat sauce.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium – high heat and saute the onions, carrots and celery, until the are just browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Add the beef, breaking apart the clumps and cook until there is no more pink.  Season with salt and pepper.

Scoop the veggie meat mixture into the slow cooker.  Add the wine to the skillet and over high, scraping up the brown bits, reduce by 1/2.  Pour this into the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients.  Cook on low for 6 – 8 hours.  Serve with pasta.

Makes about 8 – 9 cups.


This will be my entry for this week’s Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Katie from Thyme for Cooking .


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  1. says

    i think the searching i what fuels the soul. i am constantly searching for books, for tastes, for shoes.

    also, i make a slow cooker vegan bolognese that this reminds me of. look great–especially the extra wine.

  2. says

    I know exactly what you mean about searching for that perfect recipe. I’ve never done spaghetti sauce in the crockpot. Need to add that one to the list.

  3. says

    I am also always making new recipes and even the old favorites I never make the exact same way, always tweaking the proportions or adding new ingredients :) This meat sauce recipe sounds terrific!

  4. says

    This really sounds delicious and it’s very close to being the “perfect” recipe. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary.

  5. says

    Slow cooking sauces are always better.. I start my sauce, not adding browned meat(ground beef and Italian sausage) until it has simmered for quite a while..

  6. says

    I made an absolutely delicious pork dish last week, for the first time, and when I asked Paul what he thought, he said “What does it matter. Even if I love it, you’ll never make it again.”

    So many great recipes, not enough meals in the day, right?

  7. says

    “cow catalog”….LOL, you nut.

    Like you, I never stop looking for a better recipe, even if I find one that I really like. I think it’s probably mostly due to the fact that I’m always on the lookout for something new to blog about.

  8. says

    I’m the same way with recipes! I wasn’t always this way ….it just sorta happened. I can’t even tell you what I was cooking 15 yrs ago. Shoot…even 10 yrs ago would be a challenge LOL

  9. says

    My food processor was a stubborn monster that mocked me in the corner…it had a terrible accident…

    I’ll have to chop the veggies by hand.

  10. says

    I am the exact same way as you. I think all food bloggers have to be to some extent.

    I’ve been wondering about this sauce for a while now. It seems so much easier than standing by the stove for hours. I will have to give it a shot!

  11. says

    LMAO over the wine issue;)

    I laugh when I look back and realize something I did wrong, but more often than not, those “oops” actually work in my favor. Then I have to remember to do it “wrong” the next time:)

  12. says

    That meat sauce sounds good…. I’m copying that recipe.. Thanks!!!

    I’d love to have an iPhone too (not sure about Droid yet) –but since we are Verizon people, we can’t get an iPhone. We will NOT switch to AT&T…. Oh Well!!!


  13. says

    Sounds wonderful! I always skip that ‘read all directions first’ bit, too. Takes all the fun out don’t you think? hahaha
    As to the toys – yes to all although I’m forced to exercise some restraint as I refuse to buy new techie toys unless I get the instructions in English…

  14. says

    Hey … you were simply following the Julia Child method of adding more than the called for amount of wine to the recipe! I thought of you yesterday when I was browsing the wine section at the store. I found myself zeroing in on the wines that had “unique” labels! :-)

  15. says

    Great post. I’m with you. Even if I have the “perfect” whatever, I find myself wondering if, indeed there isn’t one that’s just a tad better 😉

    Thanks for sharing this one with Presto Pasta Nights.

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