Meat-Lovers Slow Cooker Spaghetti

Growing up, I can remember my mother had the biggest, deepest cast iron skillet on the planet. Okay, so that is an exaggeration. Nearly every home in our neighborhood had the same skillet. I think it was a requirement of family life back then.

If the skillet came out on Sunday, it meant Fried Chicken was going to be served after church that day. Any other day of the week would depend upon your particular family traditions. For us that big cast iron skillet meant a spaghetti supper. The skillet was used for making Mom’s spaghetti sauce. No one I knew served up jarred sauce. The spaghetti sauces we grew up on were made from scratch – sort of. There were some mass-produced components such as tomato paste or canned tomatoes. All the rest was made from scratch. Onions, garlic, bell peppers and meats were added to the tomato base, then allowed to simmer on the stovetop in that huge skillet until it was thick and the flavors had properly married.

With the availability of jarred spaghetti sauces in 1924 and the expansion of companies such as Ragu in 1937, you would think that a 1950s housewife such as my mother would not have bothered with an all-day slow simmered sauce. Open the jar, dump it over ground meats and serve it up. Simple, quick. So why didn’t she? I wish I could ask her. All I can do is speculate based on my own observations at the time. Ours was a middle-class neighborhood. Nearly all the mothers either stayed at home or only worked part-time. As a mother, you sent your children off to school in the morning, and were there to greet them at the end of the day. There were a few mothers who did hold down full-time jobs. Those were the mothers who opened a jar. In suburbia America, a few short cut conveniences such as canned tomatoes were acceptable, but beyond that was frowned upon. What kind of a mother would serve up jarred foods to her family? What kind of a suburban wife would greet her hard working husband with jarred spaghetti?

Having grown up with that view, even when I was a working woman, jarred sauces were just convenient building blocks. Wine, spices, fresh garlic – these were added to give the illusion of an all-day simmer in half the time. No offense to the jarred spaghetti industry, and certain brands in particular that I find beyond redemption, but doctoring is the name of the game, even with cooking “from scratch”.

Meat-Lovers Slow Cooker Spaghetti
1 large Yellow Onions
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 lb Ground Pork
1 lb Lean Ground Beef
2 teaspoons Italian Herbs
3 teaspoons Garlic Powder, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried Marjoram
1 (29-oz) can Tomato Sauce
1 (14 oz) can Italian Diced tomatoes
1 (14 oz) can Italian Stewed Tomatoes
1 (6 oz) can Tomato Paste
1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried Basil
1 tablespoon Sugar
16 oz dry Spaghetti Pasta
Parmesan Cheese, shredded or shaved optional garnish

Gather ingredients. Peel and dice onions, set aside.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add ground pork and onions; cook, stirring until sausage is browned through, about 8 minutes. Transfer pork and onion mixture to the bowl of a slow cooker.

Add ground beef to the same skillet over medium heat; season with Italian Seasoning, a teaspoon garlic powder and the Marjoram. Cook, stirring and breaking the meat until browned and crumbled, about 8 minutes. Transfer the ground beef to the slow cooker.

Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, remaining 2 teaspoons garlic powder, oregano, thyme and basil. Cover and cook on LOW heat for 7 hours. Add sugar during the last 15 minutes before serving.

Twenty minutes before serving, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add Spaghetti Pasta, cook according to package directions for al dente pasta. Drain and keep warm until ready to serve.

Spaghetti can be serving individually or in a large serving bowl. For individual servings, plate pasta. Ladle sauce over the pasta, garnish with Parmesan Cheese

For serving in a large bowl to pass tableside, place half of the cooked Spaghetti Pasta into a large serving bowl. Ladle half of the sauce over the pasta. Top with remaining pasta followed by remaining sauce. Draw pasta noodles through the sauce to coat well. Pass the Parmesan Cheese to garnish at the table as desired.

Serve with a simple salad or warm bread or both as desired for a simple yet satisfying supper. A favorite wine is always a pleasure.

I came from the Father and have come into the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father
John 16:28

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

6 thoughts on “Meat-Lovers Slow Cooker Spaghetti”

  1. Rosemarie, thanks for the retrospective. I am in the habit of “doctoring” recipes all the time. A good short cut is worth taking when pressed for time.


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