Slow-Cooker Bolognese Sauce

Published February 1, 2006.

Why this recipe works:

Bolognese sauce is a hearty Italian pasta sauce in which ground beef and pork are simmered for hours in milk, wine, tomatoes, and vegetables. But most slow-cooker Bolognese recipes yield watery, bland results—more soup than sauce. To avoid this, we started the sauce on the stove and then… read more

Bolognese sauce is a hearty Italian pasta sauce in which ground beef and pork are simmered for hours in milk, wine, tomatoes, and vegetables. But most slow-cooker Bolognese recipes yield watery, bland results—more soup than sauce. To avoid this, we started the sauce on the stove and then transferred the mixture to the slow cooker to simmer away. Softening the vegetables in butter, then browning the meat and simmering the vegetables and meat in milk were crucial to developing the fullest flavor and softest texture. We cooked the dish on the “high" setting with the lid off to evaporate excess liquid, which concentrated the flavor. Finally, we chose a fruity, dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris; oaky-tasting Chardonnay is too strong and would affect the flavor of the sauce.

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Makes 12 cups-enough to sauce 4 pounds of pasta

Because steam rises from the sauce as it cooks, it’s best to place the slow cooker on a counter with no cabinetry overhead. If you need more than the 7 or 8 hours of cooking time called for in the recipe, in step 3 set the lid halfway off the cooker rather than removing it, then simmer the sauce for 10 to 11 hours. Freeze leftover sauce in airtight containers for up to 2 months.

Ingredients

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