Easy Spaghetti Bolognese

This pasta sauce is simple and delicious.  You can either make the sauce in a slow cooker or in a dutch oven.  Letting the sauce simmer or cook slow is important; you want the sauce to thicken and for the flavors to meld. 

6-8 bacon slices cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
3 garlic cloves
2 lb. ground beef
6 oz. tomato paste
1 15 oz.can good tomato sauce
1 cup milk
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano chesse
Freshly grond pepper, to taste
1 lb. pasta, cooked

In a dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until almost crisp.  Spoon off all but 1 Tbs. of fat.  Add the onion and cook until tender, 5 to 7minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Make sure you don't overcook the garlic, because you don't want it to get bitter.  Add the ground beef and a 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Break up the meat and stir, until the meat is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, milk and 1/3 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.  Cover and cook on a low simmer for at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Make sure to check the sauce occasionally, you don't want it so scorch or burn. Skim the fat off the sauce. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. 

Slow cooker:  
In a skilled, cook the bacon until crisp and add to the slow cooker.  In the same skillet add a 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and cook the onion until tender.  Add the onion to the slow cooker. In the same skillet cook the meat.  Season the meat with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.  Make sure to break up the meat and cook it until it is no longer pink. Then add the meat to the slow cooker along with the tomato paste, tomato sauce, milk and 1/3 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Cover and cook on low or approximately 4 hours.  Skim the fat off the sauce.  Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta in well salted water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Add cooked pasta to the sauce, toss well.  Only add the pasta water to the sauce to loosen the pasta and sauce if need be.  Serve the pasta with a sprinkle of fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Recipe adapted from: Williams-Sonoma Kitchen


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