Farfalle with slow cooker bolognese

I think when it comes to all-time favourite family comfort foods that are easy to make, pasta with a bolognese sauce, or meat sauce, is at or near the top of my list. This robust sauce is made with lean ground beef, sweet crushed tomatoes, and full-bodied red wine, and gets its intense character from being simmered for five hours in the slow cooker. The result is a thick and satisfying sauce with tender bits of beef. Seriously simple and divinely delicious.

Here's how I made it:

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 796 ml (28 fl oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup red wine
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated white sugar
4 cups dry farfalle pasta

I started by browning the beef with the onion and garlic in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. The mixture was added to the slow cooker along with the crushed tomatoes, wine, oregano, salt and sugar. After giving the mixture a stir I set the slow cooker on high for 5 hours. 

To serve, I boiled the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package instructions until al dente (about 8 minutes). The pasta was drained and returned to the large pot and half of the bolognese was stirred in. Once the pasta was on plates I spooned more sauce on top.

This is the sort of thing I love to cook in the fall as the air begins to get cooler and the nights come sooner. But it's too yummy not to throw in the dinner rotation now and again the rest of the year too!

What goes into your bolognese sauce? Which pasta shape is the favourite around your dinner table?


  1. Pardon me while I wipe this drool.
    This looks heavenly.

  2. Making a double batch right now for the freezer...

  3. Your bolognese sauce looks fantastic!

    My favourite pasta with this type pf sauce is spaghetti or spaghettini. B, on the other hand, prefers fussili pasta.

  4. I loved this sauce, but the boys were a little put off by the wine flavour. I'll make it for them without the wine next time...

  5. I don't drink wine, so can you recommend a substitute?
    The dish looks great!!

    1. Sure. I used the red wine in this sauce to deliver some tang and depth of flavour. As a substitute, you could use a tablespoon or two of red wine vinegar (it does not contain alcohol) with 1/4 cup or so of either beef stock or just water.

  6. One of the best recipes I have ever made. I doubled it and used half beef and half Italian sausage. Just incredible! Gonna serve it with paparadelle next time! <3 You have my undying gratitude for this recipe!