This is what is in my crock pot right now. Things aren’t going well with my dad.
Crock Pot Comfort Spaghetti
- 1 large can crushed tomatoes
- 2 regular cans Italian style diced tomatoes
- 1 can tomato paste (I use low sodium)
- 1/2 c. beef broth or red wine
- 1 can sliced mushrooms (regular or portabello but not the mushroom sauce stuff) OR 1 package fresh sliced mushrooms cooked down in butter or olive oil (regular or baby bellos)
- 1 package dry Italian salad dressing mix OR 1 tsp each dried Rosemary, Basil, Thyme, and Oregano, and 1 Tbs white sugar
- 1 Bay leaf
- A dash of fresh grated nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb ground pork (if you can find the Italian seasoned kind all the better), browned and drained
- 1 lb ground chuck (or in our case, venison), browned and drained
- 2-3 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
- 4-5 large garlic cloves, diced
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 c. finely chopped red, green and yellow peppers (I use the frozen mixed peppers)
- Optional: 1-2 c. shredded cheese (Velveeta if you really want comfort food, otherwise Mozzarella, Mozz/Parmesan mix, Mozz/Parm/Asiago mix, whatever works for you.)
- Cooked spaghetti
Place the tomatoes, tomato paste, mushrooms, broth/wine and seasonings in a 6 quart crock pot.
Brown the meats in a large skillet making sure you don’t have any big chunks. Drain. You could even put the browned meat in a food chopper for a few seconds to make sure the pieces are small. Add to crock pot.
Wipe out your skillet a bit and heat your olive oil. Add the chopped vegetables and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the onions are clear and the garlic starts to brown a bit. Add to crock pot. Mix well.
Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Stir and taste. If you used dried herbs instead of the Italian dressing mix you may want to add more herbs at this point and/or more salt and pepper and/or more garlic (especially if you have the roasted garlic in the little jar or some of the individually frozen cubes of minced garlic or garlic paste from roasting garlic cloves yourself). I also added about 1-2 tsps of Red Hot at the end to kick it up a bit.
Cook for another couple of hours.
Find and remove the bay leaf.
Stir in the cheese if you want it and give it a few minutes to completely melt. You’re not adding it on top but incorporating it into the sauce. You could probably add 1/2 cup cream instead if you really wanted an even creamier texture but I’ve never done that.
Serve over cooked spaghetti. Preferably with garlic cheese bread and a nice sangria.
Yes, this makes a ton but it will freeze. If you’re planning to freeze it I’d recommend starting with fresh meat as opposed to thawing frozen meat, cooking it, and re-freezing it.
* If you want to fit it into a 4 quart crock pot just use 1 lb of meat total, omit one of the regular sized cans of Italian tomatoes and use less of the seasoning mix.