Meat Sauce



2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano or 2 teaspoon dried
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 cup dry red wine
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 slices high-quality white sandwich bread, torn into quarters
¼ cup whole milk
2 pounds 85% lean ground beef
Salt and pepper
½ cup minced fresh basil


1. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, garlic, tomato paste, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook until onions are softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in wine scraping up any browned bits, and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker.

2. Stir crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce into slow cooker.

3. Mash bread and milk into paste in large bowl using fork. Mix in ground beef, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper using hands. Stir beef mixture into slow cooker, breaking up any large pieces. Cover and cook until beef is tender, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.

4. Let sauce settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon. Break up any remaining large pieces of beef with spoon. Before serving, stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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