Retro Crock-Pot - Penne with Bolognese Sauce | Virtually Homemade: Retro Crock-Pot - Penne with Bolognese Sauce

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Retro Crock-Pot - Penne with Bolognese Sauce

I am seriously a pasta addict.  I could eat it every night for dinner.  However I don’t - my husband is more meat and potatoes and my kids don’t quite share my passion.  In order to get my pasta fix, I find ways to dress it up and add hearty sauces.  This classic Bolognese cooked in a crock-pot is off the charts.  It's incredible array of flavors is only intensified with long slow cooking.

Originating in Bologna, Italy it was originally meant to be tossed with tagliatelle, a long and wide shaped pasta.  However, due to it’s vigorous nature any substantial pasta will hold up this heavy sauce.  Surprisingly tomato is not the star of Bolognese.  It is used in small quantities – predominantly tomato paste.  The meat is enhanced by flavorful ground pork (pancetta can be used as well), milk, carrots, celery, onions and a touch of nutmeg.

This is another timeless dish you can easily make in a crock-pot.  Set it to cook early in the day and you’re only worry will be the pasta and a vegetable at dinner time – maybe some baguette to mop up any extra sauce, you won’t want to miss a drop.

Bolognese Sauce with Penne
Serves 4-6

1 medium onion, finely chooped
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef
½ lb ground pork
1 cup milk
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
2 14 ounce cans tomato sauce
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 lb box of penne

In a large skillet combine oil, onion, celery, carrot and garlic.  Saute over medium heat for about 5 – 8 minutes.  Add meat and stir frequently until thoroughly cooked with no pink color left.  Add the milk and cook until almost evaporated.  Transfer the mixture to your crock-pot with tomato paste, sauce, salt and nutmeg.

 Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Prepare penne according to package directions and toss with pasta.