Crockpot Fettuccine Bolognese
This is a great recipe to make if you really want to savor those typical Bolognese flavors, because the slow cooking really blends and brings out the taste of this dish. Instead of having to tend to the sauce for hours, you will be able to leave the slow cooker alone, to do its job, and get on with other tasks.
If you plan to be out all day, simply prepare this a day beforehand and then you can switch the crockpot on the following morning, and enjoy this for your dinner that evening. There are more ingredients and steps in this recipe than in some similar Bolognese recipes, but it is well worth making because the flavor is exquisite. Our recipe suggests serving the Bolognese sauce with fresh fettuccine, but you can use another type of pasta if you prefer, or perhaps some spaghetti. Another idea is dried pasta, which is also fine.
This recipe needs to be made in steps, so first you will puree the vegetables then cook them with the pancetta and garlic. Next you can brown the meat and then add other ingredients to the mix, like red wine, herbs and tomatoes. The crockpot takes care of the rest of the cooking, and the only other things you need to do is skim off any fat which rises to the top, stir in a little milk for a creamy finish, and cook your pasta. This makes such a lovely dinner and it makes a change from traditional spaghetti Bolognese without being too different.
- 3 oz chopped pancetta or bacon
- ¾ teaspoon salt, plus more for cooking the pasta
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup dry red wine
- ⅛ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb Italian sausage
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 peeled onions, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 peeled carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 2 cups beef stock
- 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 lb fresh fettuccine pasta
- Grated parmesan, to serve (optional)
- Sauté the pancetta or bacon in a skillet until crispy, then set them aside.
- Put the carrots, celery and onion in a food processor and pulse until paste-like.
- Add the vegetable paste and olive oil to the skillet with the fat that came off the pancetta.
- Cook for 10 minutes over a moderate heat, stirring often.
- When the vegetables are beginning to color and soften, add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
- Transfer this mixture into the crockpot.
- Cook the sausage and ground beef with some salt and pepper in the skillet for 8 minutes or until the meat is browned.
- Stir in the red wine and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add this mixture to the crockpot.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, beef stock, basil, oregano, thyme, red pepper, and bay leaves to the crockpot.
- Add the pancetta and stir.
- Cook the mixture for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low, with the lid slightly open.
- Skim off any excess fat, then stir in the milk and cook on high with the crockpot lid slightly open.
- Turn it down to low and put the lid on fully.
- Meanwhile, cook the fettuccine until al dente.
- Serve the sauce ladled over the fettuccine, perhaps with some parmesan on top.
Slow cooked Bolognese sauce offers an incredible flavor, and this recipe includes red wine, tomatoes, garlic, sausage, ground beef, and more, for an exquisite result. Prepare it on the stove, and then let the crockpot bring out all the perfectly blended beauty of the dish. Serve this over hot fettuccine and offer shredded parmesan on the side – fresh of course not the powdered kind. The photo shows what the finished dish will look like, and you might like to consider a nice mixed leaf salad on the side, to offer a contrast in the flavor. This is always a winning meal regardless of the occasion.
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