Valentine’s Evening at Home
Slow Cooker Bolognese
1 pound lean ground beef
3 links medium or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
4 ounces diced pancetta
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 large carrots, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
¾ cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt ½ teaspoon black pepper
2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus extra for serving
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound rigatoni pasta
Combine ground beef, sausage and pancetta in a large skillet. Cook over medium-high, stirring to break into small pieces until browned, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a slow cooker. Reserve drippings in the skillet.
Add onion, celery and carrots to hot drippings. Cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add red wine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has almost completely evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Add onion mixture to slow cooker with meat. Stir in sugar, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add crushed tomatoes to slow cooker and stir. Cover and cook on low about 8 hours.
About 45 minutes before serving, stir in the heavy cream, cheese and butter.
Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain well. Serve sauce over pasta. Top with extra cheese, basil and parsley. Extra sauce freezes well.