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Hearty Ragu Slow-Cooker Pasta Sauce

Category: Dinner
Source: Kristen J. Gough
Ingredients: 2 - 26.5 oz. cans spaghetti sauce (or similar size)
1/2 to 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage (or combination 1/2 lb. hamburger, 1/2 lb. Italian sausage)
1 can V-8 (optional)
Directions: There's something about slow cooking your pasta sauce that imparts a richer, deeper flavor (really, it tastes like restaurant red sauce).

1. I'd suggest spraying the slow cooker interior before you start, for easier cleanup.
2. On the stovetop over medium-high heat, brown the meat until it's cooked through. Add the cooked sausage and two cans of sauce to the slow cooker. (I use the least expensive sauce I can find, usually Hunt's, because the slow cooking improves the flavor no matter if it’s the $1 can or the $3 jar!) Stir. At this point you can also add the V-8, which gives the sauce an even deeper tomato flavor – not to mention a bit of a health boost.
3. Cook over low heat all day or over high heat for three to four hours.
4. About 30 minutes before serving, take the lid off the slow cooker and turn the setting to warm or off. Stir. This will help the sauce absorb any excess liquid.
5. Serve over spaghetti, penne or your favorite pasta. This recipe doubles well and you can freeze any leftovers.


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