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slow cook sauceI walked into a phone call between hubby and his friend Joe early Sunday. They talked about sauce in a slow cooker. I found it charming that these two grown men were swapping recipe ideas.

When their conversation ended I had pen in hand to create the morning’s shopping list:

  • 2 28-oz cans San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 6-oz cans tomato paste
  • fresh basil, about 2 tbs chopped
  • fresh oregano, about 1 tbs
  • 1 lg onion
  • yellow pepper
  • garlic
  • ground beef
  • sausage
  • 3 lbs baby back ribs

Not my typical sauce ingredient. No meatballs, no sausage or even pork cutlets. Baby back ribs. Joe’s last name ends in a vowel, so I trust his recommendation.

After a quick trip to the market, hubby chopped and sauteed the onion, yellow pepper and 2 garlic cloves. I opened the cans of peeled, whole San Marzano tomatoes and gave them a quick whirl in the processor and poured it into the slow cooker along with the sauteed vegetables. Seasoned the ribs with salt and pepper and placed them in the slow cooker. Added some of basil and oregano, and some more salt and pepper. Covered and turned on low.

Hubby kept wanting to turn the heat on high; I asked him to be patient – low was the way to cook the ribs. At the six-hour mark I cut the slab into individual ribs, for easier and more even sauce absorption.

At the seventh hour I boiled up bucatini and dinner was done. While the sauce should have been enough for at least eight adults, I think we’ll end up with two — maybe three — dinners worth. I stopped counting at hubby’s third bowl.