What an incredibly exhausting and busy long weekend we've just had, accompanied by some very random weather! Sometimes I wonder about the weather here in Calgary, it can be hot and 20+ and then thunder showering/hailing.. oh well, I suppose we will just have to keep extra layers with us at all times! We played in a tournament this weekend, and with three games on the first day I knew I wasn't going to feel like cooking dinner; so I decided to make my favourite dish: Pasta with meat sauce. I decided to make it in the slow cooker so I could come home, cook up some noodles and enjoy a hearty, warm meal after a long day of playing ball.
Making meat sauce in the slow cooker is probably one of the easiest things to do, with the exception of browning the meat there is virtually no work, and the clean-up is minimal. Best of all, you get a hot, carb-loaded meal that makes you feel warm from the inside-out; its comfort food at its finest! I served it over rotini with fresh biscuits and you can bet we were both stuffed after devouring generous helpings of this delicious dinner
Rotini with Slow Cooker Meat Sauce
Prep Time: 10 minutes// Cook Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes// Yields: 6-8 servings
For the Sauce.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 medium bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- Garlic to taste, minced (I used 6 cloves for the sauce)
- 1 package mushrooms, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 2 cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 TBSP vegetable oil
- 2 TBSP Garlic powder
- 1 TBSP Chili Powder
- 2 TBSP dried oregano, finely crushed
- 2 TBSP dried basil, finely crushed
- 1 TBSP Franks Red Hot Sauce
- 1 tsp anchovy paste
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- In a large pan over medium heat, heat oil and add onions and garlic, sauté until translucent, about 3 - 5 minutes.
- Add beef and pork to the pan and brown evenly
- Add the meat, all the chopped veggies, crushed tomatoes, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chili powder, oregano, basil, anchovy paste and franks red hot to the slow cooker and stir until thoroughly mixed.
- Cook on low for 6 – 8 hours.
- 30 minutes before serving, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook rotini (or pasta of your choice) according to package directions.
- Serve over pasta, topped with fresh parmesan, if desired.
Baking Powder Biscuits
Prep time: 5 minutes// Cook time: 12 - 15 minutes // Yields: 6 biscuits
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c chilled butter, cubed
1 cup milk or more if needed
Preheat oven to 450°F
Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl, whisk to combine.
Cut in the cold butter with a pastry knife, fork or your hands; until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add the milk, stirring as you go, until the mixture is sticky and slightly wet.
Drop the batter by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet, and bake for 12 – 15 minutes until the tops are slightly golden.