My Slow Cooker Ragu is a hearty, vegetable packed sauce that is perfect for any pasta you like.
Slow Cooker Ragu uses a blend of 7 vegetables with shredded pork and flavorful spices to make a hearty and delicious ragu sauce. Serve over pasta. Also freezer friendly!
Ragu isn’t necessarily a tomato based “spaghetti sauce,” although it does contain tomatoes. Technically it is the Italian term for any meat-based sauce simmered with vegetables and liquids, only excluding Alfredo, scampi, carbonara and other cream and cheese based sauces.
In the case of Slow Cooker Ragu, I am simmering pork in red wine and/or tomato broth with carrots, celery, onion, garlic and “super green”, kale. You can use a non-alcoholic cooking wine, omit the wine all together or use your favorite drinking red wine.
Choose a wine you like, the sauce will carry the notes- woody to woody, sweet to sweet. The cooking process will dissolve any alcohol, however if you prefer use an alcohol free, generic red cooking wine from the grocery store, please do, but go a little heavier on the spices to not lose too much flavor.
Another reason to love tasty Slow Cooker Ragu is that is freezes beautifully. This batch will feed up to 8 normal people (only 6 if it is my husband and his friends.) Make a large batch and freeze half for another night.
It does not have to be served with gnocchi, however I prefer the doughy potato texture with a rich and savory sauce. Don’t eat pork? Substitute beef or chicken.
If you like our Slow Cooker Ragu, you’ll love these other slow cooker recipes:
- 1 large white onion halved and sliced
- 6 garlic cloves chopped
- 1/2 cup celery chopped
- 1/2 cup carrots chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
- 2 14- ounce cans petite diced tomatoes
- 1 12- ounce can tomato paste
- 1/2 cup red cooking wine
- 3 small bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 3-4 pork boneless pork roast excess fat trimmed
- 5 inch ribs kale leaves removed and roughly torn into 3-4pieces
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons corn starch if needed
- Pasta of choice cooked to package directions
Place onion through black pepper in your slow cooker, mix with a spoon. Place roast in slow cooker, smear the top of the roast with mixture. Set slow cooker for low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Thirty minutes prior to serving, skim off any excess fat that has risen to the top and remove roast. Shred roast using two large forks. Return meat to the slow cooker and add unsalted butter and kale. If your sauce requires additional thickening, you can combine 2 tablespoons corn starch in 2 tablespoons of water, whisking out any lumps, and then stir into sauce.
Prepare desired pasta. Top pasta with Slow Cooker Ragu and enjoy!
Buying vegetables pre-chopped is a huge time saver.