Gravy? In a slow cooker?! What is the blaspheme you speak of?! Well let me tell you. This, my dear ones, was a game changer for me! I live a busy life, as a lot of people do. You know the drill: work, mommy-hood, sports, school, social life, love. It's a lot. Fulfilling, but a lot. I need all the help I can get when it comes to making dinner during the week!
I decided to throw up a Hail Mary and see what it would be like to make a "pot" of gravy (sauce-- whatever you want to call it) in my slow cooker. Can I just tell you... when I poured that rich, brick-red gravy over my pasta, and took my first bite, magic happened. Angels sang, old women clutched their pearls, and babies stopped crying. It took 10 minutes to prep, 8 hours to cook, and about 10 minutes for me to polish off a bowl (and that was only because we had company and I was trying to be polite).
EVOO in a pan, add 1 lb. of ground sirloin plus salt, pepper, and a few red pepper flakes. Let start to brown. I added 1 lb. of sweet Italian sausage, cut into links. Once that was all cooked at least on the outside, I added a medium sized can of tomato paste. This is what I think gave it the rich, deep flavor. I fried the paste in the rendered meat fat, and then dumped everything into my crock pot. I added 1 large can of tomato sauce, 1/2 can of water, a bunch of fresh basil, another dash of salt, and a palm-full of sugar to cut the canned taste of the tomatoes. Stirred, covered, and came home 8 hours later to a gravy so rich that I'm not sure I'll ever want to stand over a hot stove again.