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Classic Italian Meat Sauce

1/2 cup olive oil
2 medium-size yellow onions, chopped
2 medium-size carrots, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 lb lean ground beef
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups dry red wine, such as Chianti
2 28-oz cans whole plum tomatoes, with their juice; or 2 lbs fresh ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup beef broth

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the onions, carrots and celery, stirring occasionally, until just browned, 10-15 minutes. Add the beef and cook until no longer pink; season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to the slow cooker. Add the wine to the pan over high heat and cook, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom, until it reduced to half in volume. Pour into the corck and add the tomatoes, tomato paste and broth. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. Serve the sauce hot. It will keep int he refrigerator up to 4 days and in the freezer for a month.

Serves 12

Not Your Mother's Slow-Cooker Cookbook