You know what I don’t get? The South Beach diet. I’ve tried it, and I lost a lot of weight on it, but goddamn, I love me some bread. And pasta. And fruit. And food in general. So I can’t do the South Beach diet, and I don’t think it’s all that healthy to cut those things out of your life, and neither should you.
But if you’re someone who doesn’t eat carbs or sugar, I really don’t know what you’re doing here anyway.
This is a pretty freaking awesome dish. It makes a ton, you let it simmer for 4 hours, it’s easy and delicious. Although not as easy as you think.
There’s a lot of cooking involved before you get it in the crock pot. You cook all the meats, which, depending on the size of your pans, might take a long time. You cook the veggies. You add liquids. You simmer. And then you add it all to the crock pot.
By the time I added it all to the crock pot, it was about 5pm on Sunday night. There was no way I was going to let it simmer for 4 hours and then cook it for another 30 minutes after that. I didn’t want to eat at 9:30. So I cheated and took it off the crock pot at 8 and then reduced it on the stove in a stock pot for about 10 minutes while I shredded the meats. The meat probably would have gotten even more tender if I’d let them cook for another hour, but whatevs. They were great as is.
I’m telling you this so you’ll know that I do cheat on recipes, I get tired of cooking just like everyone else, I want to eat my food before I fall asleep, and it will be OK. You can do whatever you want.
Also, the recipe calls for 2 pounds of pasta, but you can get away with 1. As a matter of fact, you will only have enough sauce for one pound of pasta, so just do that.
Slow Cooker Spaghetti with Sunday Sauce
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 pounds trimmed boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3-inch pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausages
- 3 ounces pancetta, sliced 1/4 inch thick and cut into 1/4-inch dice I got mine sliced thin, tasted the same
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup dry red wine
- One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped, juices reserved
- One 28-ounce can tomato puree
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 pounds spaghetti I would only use a pound.
- Freshly grated pecorino cheese, for serving or Parmesan
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the pork with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until richly browned all over. Transfer the pork to the slow cooker, cover and turn it on to high. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Add the sausages and cook over moderate heat until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer the sausages to the slow cooker.
- Add the pancetta to the skillet and cook over moderate, stirring a few times until the fat has rendered, about 7 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and carrots and cook, stirring a few times, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the red wine and stir to release any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Boil the wine over high heat until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices and the tomato puree and bring to a boil. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker and add the thyme, rosemary and water.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours. Transfer the sausages to a bowl and cover. Cook the sauce for about 2 hours longer, until the pork is very tender.
- Transfer the pork to a bowl and shred coarsely with 2 forks. Coarsely break up the sausage. Return the meats to the cooker and simmer the sauce for 30 minutes longer. Discard the thyme and rosemary sprigs and season the sauce with salt and pepper.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain the spaghetti and return it to the pot. Stir in half of the sauce. Transfer the spaghetti to a platter and top with the remaining sauce. Serve right away, passing cheese at the table.