Slow Cooker Sunday Gravy

This sauce showcases tomatoes three ways: sun-dried tomatoes add sweetness and body, toasted tomato paste adds intense flavor, while crushed[ tomatoes melt down into this hearty sauce.]

Total Time:
8 hr 30 min
10 min
8 hr 20 min

6 to 8 servings

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds hot Italian sausage links
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 beef short ribs (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian herb mix
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes, preferably not oil-packed
  • Two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound rigatoni or ziti
  • Freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino
Watch how to make this recipe.
  • Heat a large skillet or a 5 1/2- to 6-quart stovetop-safe slow cooker insert over medium-high heat. Add the oil and sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until brown all over, 7 to 8 minutes. Push the sausage to the side of the cooker. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until brick red, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up the browned bits.

  • Add the short ribs, Italian herbs, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, onions, bay leaf, 1 tablespoon salt and some pepper to the insert and put it into the slow cooker. If you're using a skillet, transfer the tomato mixture to the slow cooker at this point. Cover the cooker, set it on low and cook until the beef is very tender, 6 to 8 hours.

  • When ready to serve, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain.

  • Transfer the sausage and beef to a cutting board, slice into serving portions and arrange on a serving platter. Toss the pasta with some of the sauce and transfer to a serving bowl.

  • Serve the meat and pasta with the Parmesan and remaining sauce on the side. Freeze any leftover sauce for up to 1 month.

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    Slow-Cooker Meals