This is one of those recipes that I just took of little of this and a little of that from what I had on hand. It turned into a delicious and healthy dinner. This recipe is one of those that I literally just threw everything in and made it up as I went along. You can do it too! The keys to success in a yummy slow cooker spaghetti sauce are these:
1. Use lots of aromatics like onion and garlic.
2. Get the onions nice and soft in the microwave and at the same time bloom the spices.
3. Use tomato paste to bring out the flavors and thicken things up.
4. Use tapioca as a thickener to keep things from getting too runny.
Follow those rules and add in whatever else you like (mushrooms, peppers, carrots, zucchini, squash etc)
I love to serve my sauce over spaghetti squash. It is so tasty and it has great texture and very few calories.
Recipe for Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce
Makes 6 servings
Ideal slow cooker size: 6 quart
Cooking time: 6-8 hours
1 1/2 cups diced onions
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup cooked wheat berries (optional, see recipe below)
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 or 2 carrots, grated
1/2 cup diced red pepper (or green pepper, or whatever you have)
1 (14 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 Tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
1 tsp salt
8 oz sausage, browned and drained
8 oz lean ground beef, browned and drained
1. In a microwave safe bowl combine the onions, garlic, oregano, cumin, canola oil and tomato paste. Microwave for about 4 or 5 minutes. Stir every minute. Onions should be soft. Transfer to the slow cooker.
2. Add in the wheat berries, tomato sauce, carrots, pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms, tapioca, salt, sausage and beef.
3. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.
4. Serve over spaghetti squash or your favorite pasta.
Recipe to make cooked wheat berries:
2/3 cup wheat (I like hard white wheat or soft white wheat)
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
Place ingredients in slow cooker and cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours. Drain water. Makes 2 cups of wheat berries.