I have a confession to make… I own a LOT of kitchen appliances. If there was an Appliances Anonymous meeting, I would be there because it has become a little bit of an addiction for me.
You name it, I have it, from the bread-maker to the rice-cooker to the pasta maker. And I can’t move on without mentioning the holy grail of baking – my beloved KitchenAid mixer. Some of these appliances have only been used once, but they all have a special place in my heart (well, in my very crowded Melbourne apartment kitchen) In amongst this, one appliance really stands out from the pack – the humble slow cooker.
When I bought this, I didn’t think it would get as much use as it does, slow cooking wasn’t something I was ever exposed to and I guess I hadn’t seen the benefits. In winter, there is nothing better than coming home from work to the tantalizing smells of your ready prepared dinner.
If I know I am going to have a busy day, I know I can still come home late, and not have to stress about putting together something for dinner. It’s just so easy to chuck everything in, turn it on and let ‘time’ work it’s magic.
This recipe is one of my favourites – a rich hearty winter ragu with so much flavour!
What you need:
- Large Frying Pan
- Slow cooker
- Muslin cloth
Ingredients (serves 4-6):
- 1kg good quality pork sausage (I used pork and fennel)
- 2 x cans of chopped Italian tomatoes
- 2 x tablespoons of tomato paste
- 2 x garlic cloves
- 1 x onion
- 200ml of red wine
- 1 x bunch of thyme
- 100gms hot pancetta
- 700 gms fresh fettucine
- 8-10 Black peppercorns
- Parmesan cheese to serve
- Finely chop onion and mince garlic
- Using a sharp serrated knife, slice open the sausages and remove all mince inside. Discard the skins
- Finely chop the hot pancetta
- Over a medium heat sauté the onion and garlic with oil. Add the pancetta and sausage mince and cook until browned.
- Transfer cooked pork mixture into the slow cooker. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine and stir thoroughly.
- Cut a square of muslin cloth to fit your herbs and spices. Add the thyme and peppercorns to the muslin and tie up with twine*
- Turn on your slow cooker for anywhere between 4-18 hours using the low setting. (I did 10 hours for this one)
- Once the ragu is cooked, season to taste. I found this was salty already due to the pancetta and didn’t need any extra seasoning)
- Locate your bag of herbs and remove before serving.
- Cook fresh pasta in boiling water until al dente.
- Serve with shaved parmesan
*If you do not have muslin cloth, you can add the herbs to the mixure, I would just grind them up in a mortar and pestle first.
And if you are looking for more winter warmers for your week – check out Anisa’s slow cooked beef bourguignon.
Tegan – The Macadames. xx