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Chunky Meat Sauce for Pasta

1 pound lean ground beef - (to 1 1/2 lbs)(or use a mixture of Italian sausage
and ground beef)
1 large onion -- coarsely chopped
1 large bell pepper -- coarsely chopped
1 medium zucchini -- halved, and sliced about 1/4" thick
8 ounces fresh mushrooms -- coarsely chopped, or sliced about 1/4" thick
1/3 cup beef broth bouillon, base, or water
2 tablespoons instant tapioca - (to 3 tbsp)
1 can diced tomatoes - (15 oz)
1 can tomato sauce - (7 oz)
1 can tomato paste - (6 oz)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon seasoned or black pepper
1 dash crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon sugar or honey


Brown meat and onions; combine with remaining ingredients (2 tablespoons tapioca) in a 3 1/2-quart or larger slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours, or about half the time on HIGH.

Add another tablespoon of tapioca if the sauce seems thin (it will be thinner if cooked on LOW). Serve on spaghetti and pass the Parmesan!

This recipe yields 4 to 6 servings.

Some general comments about this recipe:


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