Slow Cooked Meaty Pasta Sauce

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Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 6 hours

In our house, we're big on weekend cooking. My kids love helping out and I find that if I make a few recipes on Saturday or Sunday to store in the fridge or freezer, I have a lot less cooking to do during the week when life gets overwhelming. That doesn't mean that we spend the entire weekend in the kitchen. Far from it. Our recipes have to be quick and easy so we can get out and do other things together. I treasure our weekends because they often feel like the only time we can just relax and play, enjoying our favorite activities and not being on a schedule.

Times like this are when my crock pot is my best friend because it assures that I need not spend a moment more than necessary in the kitchen. Chloe helps me wash the veggies, Kenya and I chop them, I sauté the meat and we all toss everything in the pot together. That's it. When we come home from our adventures at the end of the day, dinner is all ready….with plenty leftover for the week ahead. Don't forget to double, especially for recipes like this one. Store what you don't eat in dated single or multiple-serving containers in the freezer and all you have to do on school nights is defrost and reheat and your homemade meal is done within minutes. One more reason to live for the weekends!


What you'll need

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup carrots, grated
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons dried italian herbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf

How to make it

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sauté pan and sauté onions for 4 minutes. Add the ground beef and 1 teaspoon of salt and sauté for 4 more minutes, breaking apart the meat as it cooks.

  2. Add the sautéed meat and onions to the crock pot.

  3. Whisk 2 tablespoons of tomato paste in 1 cup of water until the paste dissolves.

  4. Add the tomato paste mixture to the pot along with the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

  5. Cook on Low for 6-8 hours.

  6. Serve over pasta.

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