Last night I had a sudden urge to go out at 9:00pm to buy a slow cooker. I’d say ‘Crock Pot’ but that’s a brand like BandAid. So I came home with a really nice slow cooker and today I wanted to put it to use. I had a bunch of vegetables in my fridge (‘had’ being the key word as the fridge is void if vegetables now) and needed to get rid of them do I decided…. my Thick n Chunky Spaghetti would be excellent!
Hubby and I like our spaghetti a certain way… think n chunky of course and filled mostly with yummy veggies.
For my spaghetti (can I even call it spaghetti when the pasta I use is Penne?), anyways, for my spaghetti I start it off with a giant stock pot on my stovetop. Heat a small drizzle of olive oil in the bottom and add 1 diced onion, and 5 or 6 cloves of Red Russian garlic (or more or less depending on your taste buds, and if course u don’t have to use the Red Russian variety of garlic, that’s just the yummy goodness I had kickin round these parts LOL!) Sauté until the onions are translucent. Then I removed them from the pit and set aside.
Then I browned my ground beef. I think I started with 2 kgs? What is that, like 4.5 lbs? Just under? Once the beef is cooked thoroughly I drained most of the remaining liquids and added back in the sautéed onion and garlic and let it cook together for about 5 minutes. Seasoning it with crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne, oregano and of course salt and pepper.
Ok next comes all the veggies… I use approximately 2 cups chopped celery, 2 cups chopped carrots, 4 cups sliced mushrooms, 1 diced red pepper, 1 diced green pepper, 4 cups chopped broccoli and 2 cups chopped zucchini. Add it all to the stockpot into the beef and onion mixture. I cook this on low for about 10 minutes. I want the veggies to get a bit seasoned and get em hot!
Next I add in 5-6 large cans of crushed tomatoes, I like my sauce fairly thick and the veggies will produce a bit of liquid as well so make your best judgement. Just don’t open all your cans of tomatoes until you know what you need. Taste your sauce… usually it’s a bit acidic… add a pinch or two of sugar to cut down the acids.
Finally I add ½ cup of parmesan cheese. It adds a nice bold flavor and helps everything bind together for a richer thicker sauce.
I put all this in my slow cooker and and it cooked for about 4 hours and then warmed for an hour. I like it best after it’s cooled a bit and the flavours have blended.
It made about 7 quarts… I couldn’t even fit all of it into the slow cooker…. LOLOL We will have spaghetti tonight and tomorrow and I will freeze the rest for a nice easy quick meal some other day. Or share with a friend!