Last Christmas I received a really cool fast, slow cooker. This thing is amazing; it can braise, slow cook and pressure cook in the same machine. I have not yet experimented with the pressure cooker setting, but the slow cooker part I really love. You can also extend the warming time before or after cooking. One of the first things I tried in the slow cooker part was a recipe for pasta sauce. My husband loves pasta and sauce and is constantly asking me to make this sauce for him. It also freezes well as it makes a large batch (10 cups).
Spicy Sausage Pasta Sauce (adapted from Italian Slow Cooker by M. Scicolone)
1 pound spicy Italian sausage
1 large red onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 dry red wine
1 28 ounce can Italian peeled tomatoes with basil and in their juice, roughly chopped
1 28 ounce can tomato puree
salt to taste
Turn the setting to braise (or in a skillet before putting into the slow cooker). Break the sausage into lumps and brown. Once the sausage is browned, add the chopped onion and garlic and cook until the onion is tender. Add the wine and scrape down the sides of the pan. Pour the contents into the slow cooker. Add the roughly chopped tomatoes, puree and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 hours. Taste for seasoning once complete.