Spaghetti Bolognese is a firm family favourite – but have you ever thought about making slow cooker bolognese?
I absolutely love spaghetti Bolognese – it is one of my all time favourite dinners. However, since working as a chef at an Italian restaurant for a year in 2013 I now only ever make slow cooker bolognese. The Italian family I worked for always made theirs in a huge pan which was left simmering on the stove all day. This really let’s the flavours develop and gives it a much deeper and richer taste.
The other thing I love about making it in my slow cooker is that I can make a huge batch in one go. I then freeze it down in portions, which I can simply defrost and reheat when needed.
Why not give the slow cooker version a go next time you make this classic dish? If you don’t have a slow cooker they can be picked up for under £20 on Amazon.
Okay, so before we begin I must admit that I am a ‘chuck it in all and hope for the best’ kind of a gal! So all measurements given are approximate and should be adjusted to personal taste.
Slow Cooker Bolognese
Serves 4 but can easily be doubled or tripled for batch cooking
- 400grams of mince (approx 100 grams per person seems to be the average having looked at a few recipes)
- 2 x 5oogram tubs of Passata (I use Asda’s own brand cheap one)
- 1tsp of Italian herbs
- 1tbsp of garlic puree
- 2tbsp of tomato puree
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- OPTIONAL – 1 onion, 2 carrots and one stick of celery if you have them (I don’t actually use these as my husband is super fussy and won’t anything with onions or celery. Personally I don’t like carrots in bolognese sauce but that’s just me. You could also add mushrooms if you like)
- Add all ingredients to the slow cooker and give a good mix.
- Cook on low for a minimum of 8 hours.
- Serve with your pasta of choice (see packet for instructions)
And that’s it! Super simple. This bolognese has quite a different texture to normal hob made bologenese as the meat really breaks down with the long slow cooking. I think in traditional Italian cooking it would be considered more of a Ragu. I also always serve the bolognese mixed in with the pasta, as you can see from the picture. Italian’s never serve their pasta plain and would never just dollop sauce on top like we do here.
We have a batch cooking day about once a month. If we are going to be eating spaghetti bolognese a day or two after we usually cook our pasta on this day and just reheat it along with the bolognese sauce when we get home from work for a super quick tea.
To do this, cook the pasta so it is slightly firmer than usual then run under cold water until completely cooled. Leave to drain for about five minutes before transferring to a storage container. Add a little olive oil and stir through the pasta – this will stop it sticking together.
To reheat simply pour over boiling water from the kettle and leave for two minutes. Drain and serve as you normally would. Pasta will keep in the fridge for three days before it starts to feel too soft to eat.
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