One major plus about growing up in New York is the Italian food! I make an all-day sauce in the slow cooker that is just amazing! Here’s the recipe!
- 2 cans of 29 oz tomato Puree
- 1 can 28 oz diced tomatoes
- 6 cans 6 oz tomato paste
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic in oil
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup of diced onions
- 1 tablespoon basil
- 4 crushed bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons oregano (I like my sauce with extra oregano so add this to taste)
Directions:Open and empty all cans into the slow cooker. Fill one of the large cans halfway with warm water and swish to remove any remaining tomato juice. Pour from one can into the next until all cans are satisfactorily clean. Then pour the water into the slow cooker. Add all other ingredients and stir. Set slow cooker on high for four-six hours (or until sauce thickens)
Tips & Hints: This is a big recipe and should almost completely fill a 6 quart slow cooker. Reduce recipe to fit yours or use a large pot on the stove top. This sauce freezes VERY well with or without meat already added. Be sure to leave room when freezing for slight expanding. Fresh tomatoes can be substituted for diced but extra puree should be added to compensate the less liquid. You will also have to cook longer to allow for them to soften completely. Sun-dried tomatoes add a unique and robust flavor with just enough olive oil that you don’t need to add any more to the recipe, least of all with the minced garlic in olive oil (I make it myself for added flavor and freshness).
And there you have it! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Disclaimer: As the image shows, if you are someone that judges their lasagna success with perfectly square stacks of layered pasta and cheese, DON’T try this recipe. Why? Because it is what the name implies… broken.
With that out of the way… let me introduce you to one of my favorite dishes now converted to the slow cooker! Having spent so much of my adult life in New York, where Italian food is on every corner, making lasagna is second nature to me. And if you’ve ever made lasagna before, you’ve already got a good idea of how it should work. All you’ll really need is a few pointers for converting your recipe to the slow cooker.
Ingredients (6 quart slow cooker):
- 3 packages of 9 oz. “No boil” lasagna noodles
- 32 oz. red sauce
- 1 lb. shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 32 oz. Ricotta cheese
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 16 oz. frozen spinach
- In a large bowl, mix everything but the pasta. Yes, you read that right, everything. Even the sauce. Go head, I promise it still tastes amazing. Cream then together until fully incorporated.
- In a large plastic bag, break up your pasta. This is to keep it from flying across the kitchen.
- Combine the cheese mixture and your broken pasta pieces in the cooker until well mixed.
- Set your cooker to low.
- Set your timer for 3 hours.
- At the end of the 3 hours, check your noodles to ensure they are the right consistency for your tastes (if you like al dente, check the noodles after two hours and continue to cook to perfection).
- Serve as is!
I know it doesn’t exactly look like lasagna but I can assure you, it is VERY tasty and a great way to make a family favorite without slaving away and babysitting your stove! And it freezes VERY well!