Slow Cooker

Slow-Cooker Bolognese Sauce with Rigatoni

Last night, I broke out my slow-cooker and made a pasta sauce in it.  I have never done this before.  Normally when I make a bolognese I use Giada’s great recipe (  But I knew I wouldn’t be home until late tonight (thanks to grad school), so I decided to try this recipe that I found in my Pillsbury FAST Slow Cooker recipe book.

I’ve used the book many times before and have always been pretty happy with the outcome.  Tonight, it was just so-so.  The sauce was too sweet (the recipe called for 3 tablespoons of sugar – I added it all but was unsure as I did) and it had too much onion (in my opinion).  I also prefer ground meat instead of sausage pieces in my bolognese.  There was also way more sauce than pasta.  (I definitely was craving a piece of Barefoot’s garlic bread to mop up my leftover sauce.)  Overall, it was an okay bolgnese (definitely quick to throw together in the crockpot).  Not sure if I would make it again (I think I’ll stick with Giada’s recipe).  Regardless, here it is:

  • Cut about 1.5 pounds of Italian sausage into 1 inch chunks.
  • Combine in your slow cooker with 1 large onion, chopped, and 2 cloves of garlic, minced (I used 2 medium onions and 4 cloves).
  • Add 1 big can crushed tomatoes and 1 small can of tomato sauce.
  • Add 12 ounces of tomato paste (I ended up only having 6 ounces in my pantry, so that’s all I used).
  • Add 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Stir to combine, cover, and cook on low for 6-8 hours (I cooked on high for 4.5 hours since I started this at 6:15 pm).
  • Serve over cooked pasta.

I think I am just accustomed to Giada’s with the carrot, celery, and ground beef.  It’s a great sauce.  Try that one before this one!  😉

It did look nice though…


I'm a middle school math teacher by day and a total food enthusiast by night.

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