Friday, April 19, 2013

Slow Cooker Bolognese: For those busier than average weeknights

Despite the supposed arrival of spring, it's been rainy and cool here in Wisconsin.  And we've been busier than ever.

In addition to the food and dining writing I've been doing for, I also recently took a spot on the editorial panel for Edible Milwaukee magazine, which is launching here in Milwaukee in May. So, we've volunteered to spearhead the planning for a fund-raising gala to celebrate the release of the first issue of the magazine.  Needless to say, we've been up to our elbows making requests for silent auction donations and working with the chefs from Milwaukee Food for Thought, an amazing group of community-minded chefs, to make sure the event is as awesome as we envision it will be in our heads.

We've also been busy with our MKEfoodies group, which has really taken off in the past year. We just pulled together our first ever Milwaukee Food Swap, which took place on April 14th (and was an amazing amount of fun).  And we're currently planning our second annual Walker's Point Food Crawl, which will take place on June 1, 2013. So, we've been writing up press releases, chatting up area restaurants, and trying to think of ways to make this year's event even bigger and better than ever.

So, we haven't had much time for cooking. What that means is, we've had to get kind of clever about our planning to ensure that we're still eating as healthfully as possible. In part, that means we've been relying on our trusty crockpot to do some of the work for us.

Fortunately, some recipes are just MADE for the crockpot. And this is one of them: old fashioned long-simmering bolognese sauce. 

You’ve heard the legends of long-simmered Bolognese made by Italian grandmothers of old. And you've probably also seen the recipes that claim to give you a quick alternative to this classic sauce.

Well, the quick recipes are a joke.  And the legends are true. Slow cooking makes any Bolognese better. Fortunately, this version makes use of the crockpot so you needn’t sit home all day waiting for your sauce to reduce.

But, don’t scrimp on the details. A half-hour of prep work gives you at least ten hours to take it easy as your sauce cooks. And it makes enough for multiple meals or one feast for a small army... oh, and it freezes well, to boot!
You will need at least a 6 1/2 quart sized crockpot for this recipe (alternatively, split up the amount between two smaller crockpots). Because steam rises from the sauce as it cooks, it’s best to place the slow cooker on a counter with no cabinetry overhead.  

Rustic Crockpot Bolognese Sauce



  1. Yum, I've been craving bolognese lately, maybe because Spring refuses to show up? Never made it in a Crockpot before, but will try now :)

  2. @Christina - It's true. Spring is taking its sweet time, isn't it? Fortunately, this recipe also doesn't heat up the kitchen!

  3. I hope u will be posting info on the fund raising gala for the magazine?! That reminds me I need to get a subscription to it too!


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