Thursday, July 10, 2014

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese

I can not hide it.  I am a Williams-Sonoma junkie.  If I want to kitchen tool, pot, pan, etc, I always check there first.  On one of my many trips there, I walked away with a recipe card for Spaghetti Bolognese.  I think I have been holding on to this card for well over a year.  I tend to shy away from doing Italian dishes in the slow cooker because they are just so much fun to make at the oven or stove.  I had been paring down my cookbook menagerie when I saw this recipe card.  I decided to give it a whirl before it met the doom of some other recipes/books.  I am glad I did - this one can definitely be added to the rotation.

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese
adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

6 oz bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch slices (I used about had a package of center cut bacon)
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 lb ground beef
6 oz tomato paste
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup shredded Italian six cheese mix
1 lb spaghetti cooked, water reserved
1.  In the slow cooker insert (or use a large sauté pan/skillet) over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp (about 10 minutes - I like mine crispy so I went a bit longer).
2.  Spoon off the fat but leave about 1 tbs in the pan.  Add onion and cook until tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
3.  Add the garlic - cooking for another minute.
4.  Add the ground beef, stirring until the beef is no longer pink.
5.  Stir in tomato paste, heavy cream, milk, and cheese.  Remove from heat.
6.  Place insert in slow cooker (or transfer contents of pan to slow cooker).  Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours.  When done, you may want to skim any fat from the top of the sauce.
7.  Added the cooked spaghetti to the sauce.  If the sauce is to thick, add some pasta-cooking water to loosen the sauce.
8.  Enjoy immediately!
The Final Product
This was tasty - good enough to satisfy my most severest critic - son number one downed two bowls!  For mom and dad, this was a great starter but needs some herbal/spice additions.  I think next time I will throw in some Penzey's Italian Herb mix (or basil, parsley, and oregano).  For the hubby's part, he said he would want to give it some kick - some red pepper flakes would do the trick.  I might add a little salt in as well next time.  Enjoy!

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