An Italian favorite, this flavorful meat sauce is deliciously filling. Serve this hearty sauce with your choice of pasta, we like to use rigatoni or penne. Leftover sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days so you can serve this twice in a busy week.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage links
1 pound hot Italian sausage links
2 medium onions, minced
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
12 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Salt, to taste
½ cup dry red wine
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 ½ pounds bone-in country style pork ribs
1 ½ pounds flank steak
Ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1. Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the sweet sausage and cook until well browned and the fat begins to render, about 8 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the fat in the skillet. Repeat with the hot sausage, leaving the fat in the skillet.
2. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat left in the skillet and place over medium-high heat until simmering. Add the onions, tomato paste, garlic, oregano, and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until the onions are softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits.
3. Transfer the mixture to the crock pot and stir in the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce until evenly combined. Add the reserved sausages to the sauce. Season the ribs and flank steak with salt and pepper and nestle them into the crock pot. Cover and cook, either on low or high, until the meat is tender, 9 to 10 hours on low or 5 to 6 hours on high.
4. Transfer the sausages, ribs, and flank steak to a platter and let cool slightly. Let the cooking liquid settle for 5 minutes, then gently tilt the crock pot and remove as much fat as possible from the surface using a large spoon. Using two forks, shred the ribs and flank steak into small pieces, discarding any bones and fat. Slice the sausages in half crosswise. Stir the shredded meat, sausages, and basil into the sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.