About this recipe: This slow cooker pasta sauce is like a bolognese - meaty and rich, it's sure to please the whole family. Make extra to freeze some for another day!
Recipe creator here! Personally, what I think really makes the recipe is the use of sweet Italian Sausage, not ground, but links. I remove the casing and cut them in to bite size pieces. I cook that in the olive oil with onions. After several hours in the sauce, the bite size pieces are tender and have absorbed tons of flavor. This truly creates the chunky sauce. You can certainly add green peppers and I often use mushrooms. I typically use it next day to make lasagna or chicken Parmesan. Edit: The sugar isn't necessary for the taste, but it isn't there for sweetness. Tomatoes contain a lot of acidity and the addition of a little sugar balances it and creates a "smoother" sauce (salt, carrots, and baking soda help as well). Also, a fairly standard size crock pot (5-7 quarts) will work just fine. *If you're having problems with burning, you've added the sugar too early/let it simmer too long with sugar in it. Hope that helps! - 02 Feb 2010 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
This is my go-to spaghetti sauce recipe. Only thing I do different is add in fresh veggies to really stretch the sauce (shredded zucchini, shredded carrots, chopped peppers, fresh sliced mushrooms, and spinach) and I double the sausage. This is great with turkey sausage and ground turkey or chicken. This also freezes well for those who like to make big batches and freeze to thaw out on busy days. Most of these ingredients can be bought cheaply at Aldi/Grocery Outlet for very little. NOTE: Using roasted canned tomatoes is a bonus added flavor, too. Also, if you pre-spray your plastic freezer containers with non-stick spray, they'll wipe clean when ready to wash and will not be stained. - 03 Mar 2010 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
To make dinner even quicker, prepare and freeze the pasta ahead of time. Thaw it in boiling water, and in less than 2 minutes it's ready to use. I always boil the whole package of pasta when I cook it then freeze leftoverrs. What a time saver. - 17 Apr 2010 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)