Photo: Nina Choi; Styling: Lisa Lee
Total Time
8 Hours 30 Mins
8 servings (serving size: 1 cup pasta, 1 cup sauce, 2 tablespoons cheese, and 1 tablespoon basil)

Mafaldine is a flat noodle with ruffled edges. You can substitute spaghetti.

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and carrot to pan; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Place vegetable mixture in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add sausage and beef to skillet; sauté 6 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove beef mixture from skillet using a slotted spoon. Place beef mixture on a double layer of paper towels; drain. Add beef mixture to slow cooker. Stir olives and next 6 ingredients (through tomato sauce) into slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours. Stir in oregano.

Step 2

Prepare pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Serve sauce with hot cooked pasta; top with basil and cheese.

Ratings & Reviews

good stuff

April 03, 2015
This is a really solid meat sauce. I'd love to keep some on hand in the freezer all the time. I have a 4-quart slow cooker, so I cut the ground beef down to 3/4 lb and the sausage (chicken hot Italian sausage) to 4 oz, but I think the full recipe would've fit just fine in my smaller cooker. Anyway, the decreased amount of meat suits my taste just fine. Used dried oregano and basil that cooked with the rest of the ingredients.

candalasii28's Review

January 09, 2014
This meaty pasta sauce was perfect. All the flavors were just right. I didn't have to add anything after the 8 hour slow cook. I invited a couple friends over for dinner, and they couldn't get enough! We found ourselves eating seconds of the sauce all by itself. Instead of the pasta suggested by the recipe I used cheese tortellini. Once again thank you Cooking Light...

CherylT's Review

October 08, 2013
I made this for a dinner party and everyone liked it. I prepped everything the night before and threw it in the crock pot in the morning. Next time I make it for our family, I am going to put 1/2 the amount of ground beef in it as it was a bit heavy for us. I am also going to add a tiny amount of fennel seed to increase the flavor of the Italian sausage. All in all, I think it is a good solid recipe that's pretty easy to make.

mandofan's Review

May 15, 2011
I never had a mythical Italian grandmother who always had a pot of the world's best red sauce slowly simmering all day on stove, so I suppose this will have to provide me with the next best thing. This is such a wonderful sauce with a terrifically deep, hearty flavor. Total prep was a little under an hour for me, including clean up, and the rest of the time was just letting the sauce cook. I also added 3 TBSP of oregano instead of the single TBSP, which didn't even seem to register. Oh, and the final amount is wrong. This makes about six cups of sauce. I couldn't find mafaldine, so I just used rigatoni. Definitely a keeper to make again.

mikoprice's Review

August 01, 2014

BLC2010's Review

December 04, 2013
I made this last night for dinner and served it over medium shell pasta. I followed recipe except to use regular tomato products ( I like to use San Marzano tomatoes, and couldn't find those salt free) and chicken Italian sausage. The different sausage cut fat and calories, and no one noticed the change. I was able to just add a pinch of salt instead of the full teaspoon since I didn't use salt free tomatoes. I did end up adding a little more oregano, a splash of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of fresh parsley before serving. The dish came together very easily and was very good. Next time, I might even double the recipe to freeze for future quick dinners.

CarolynD1968's Review

August 15, 2013
Excellent. Used fresh tomatoes out of the garden

DehmerClaire's Review

March 24, 2013

Sakkasie's Review

March 24, 2013

nancycotton's Review

February 09, 2013
Very good. I substituted hot Italian turkey sausage and ground turkey to make it even leaner. Tasted great. Very satisfying