This rich, slow cooked sauce makes for a hearty supper. It's what we had for dinner last night and it's always a crowd pleaser. It requires a little more prep. than your average crock pot recipe, but the results are worth it. You can save yourself a little time in the kitchen by chopping up your veggies the night before. The prep. time is about a half an hour, the cook time is 8 1/2 hours, the recipe serves 8. The best part is that it's about $1.50 a serving.
Here's what you need:
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter (The recipe calls for unsalted butter.If you don't have unsalted butter on hand, don't run out and buy it. A seasoned chef could probably give you a long list of reasons why unsalted butter is required...I am not a seasoned chef, I'm just a Mom and I use what I have. I've used plain old salty butter in this recipe a number of times and it's worked out just fine.)
1 small onion, chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped (I generally use 3 or 4)
1 carrot, finely chopped (Again, I generally use 3 or 4)
2 lbs. lean ground beef (You'll want the leanest beef your budget can afford since you're not draining the grease after the meat is cooked.)
Salt and pepper as per your taste buds
Pinch or two of nutmeg
1 cup whole milk
1 cup white wine
2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
Here's what you do:
1) Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrots. Saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Crank the heat up to high and add ground beef. Cook until no longer pink. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
2) Pour milk and wine in and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes.
3) Transfer to crock pot. Stir in crushed tomatoes, cover and cook on Low for 8 hours. Remove lid, stir and continue to cook an additional half hour with the lid off to let the sauce thicken a bit.
Serve sauce over pasta with grated Parmesan cheese. I made Perciatelli for the first time last night with this sauce. Think a drinking straw come to life as spaghetti. It's fun to eat. And by all means, dinner time should be fun. :)