We had our 23rd annual Gingerbread House Day on Sunday. One of the group, a first timer!, made her own house from scratch but the rest of us opted for the store-bought kits. I always cook something in the crockpot so that lunch is ready as we are winding down from the decorating. Most of us have nibbled on candy and are craving a good meal. I often make crockpot spaghetti sauce, sometimes I’ve made a vegetable soup to go along with that but this year I just made some garlic bread from a loaf of store-bought French bread and some homemade bread, a Cheddar and Parmesan loaf from Bread Toast Crumbs, a great cookbook with a variety of no-knead breads and then other recipes that use the bread.
These days Gingerbread House Day is about the only time I use my crockpot, unless I’m making chicken or turkey broth overnight. Or this crockpot macaroni and cheese, which is a favorite of my eldest.
I’ve made this spaghetti sauce before with 2 pounds of ground beef but I really liked the flavor the sausage added. I’ve also left out the mushrooms before because I used to not be fond of them. But now I like them and I think they added a lot.
Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound hot Italian sausage without casing
- 3 medium onions, chopped
- 5-7 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 29 oz can diced tomatoes (not drained)
- 29 oz can tomato sauce
- 12 oz can tomato paste
- 2 Tbs dried basil
- 1 Tbs dried oregano
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- grated Parmesan
- 1.2 cup red wine (optional)
- 1 pound pasta
- Brown the ground beef and sausage, breaking up the clumps of meat while you stir.
- Add the onions, garlic and mushrooms and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Put the meat and vegetables into the crockpot and Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, oregano, sugar, salt and red pepper flakes.
- Turn the crockpot up to high and bring to a simmer, then turn it down to low for 3-4 hours.
- If you’re adding the red wine, stir it in about half an hour before serving the sauce.
- Serve over cooked pasta with grated Parmesan.