Slow Cooker Short Rib Sauce with Bucatini.

Something totally crazy is happening.

Slow Cooker Short Rib Sauce with Bucatini I howsweeteats.com

I’ve been CRAVING tomato sauce.

This is huge in my world.

If you’ve been reading for any length of time, you’ll know that I just… don’t… love… tomato sauce. In any capacity, really. The smaller the amount on my pizza, the better.

I very very rarely eat any sort of pasta with red sauce. I’m just not into it.

Slow Cooker Short Rib Sauce with Bucatini I howsweeteats.com

BUT. These days something wacky is going on. I actually find myself wanting it for dinner. Often.

Also, look at that hug on a plate up there. GAH. It’s like a big, fat pile of comfort food and I’m into it. Really in to it.

But I also just made cookies and am really into those so take my words with a grain of salt.

Slow Cooker Short Rib Sauce with Bucatini I howsweeteats.com

It’s kinda nuts because I remember being eight or nine years old and complaining to my grandma that I didn’t like pasta, but how I wished that I did. And she told me that as we grow, “our tastes change” and it was the first time I’d ever heard that (at age nine, obviously) and I held on to it ever since.

Hoping my tastes would change for the better towards vegetables. Things like broccoli and tree-like and green.

Hoping it would change for pasta and sauce.

And it’s happening. WHOA.

Slow Cooker Short Rib Sauce with Bucatini I howsweeteats.com

These short ribs were my first victim.

In the past, when I’d make any sort of sauce (or, um, pour it out of a can), I’d usually reach for marinara. Something simple, you know? But with my severe infatuation with short ribs, I was dying for them to go in the sauce. I KNEW it had to happen.

Let’s be real: I love short ribs in every way besides the traditional braised preparation. It’s like… how much can I trash up ribs that are short?

Slow Cooker Short Rib Sauce with Bucatini I howsweeteats.com

So now, it’s like 25 degrees below zero outside. Or feels like it, at least. Whatever, wind chill. Don’t you want something easy (hi, crockpot) and comforting (hi, pasta) and covered in grated cheese?

Because I do.

Slow Cooker Short Rib Sauce with Bucatini I howsweeteats.com

Only thing better would be if we could twirl it on to our forks together.

Slow Cooker Short Rib Sauce with Bucatini I howsweeteats.com

Slow Cooker Short Rib Sauce with Bucatini

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons canola oil
8 beef short ribs
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

12 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup beef stock
1 cup red wine
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, plus more for topping

1 pound bucatini pasta, cooked

Directions:

Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat and add canola oil. Season the short ribs with the salt and pepper then lightly coat them with the flour. Add the short ribs to the pot (you may need to do this in two batches) and sear until golden on all sides, about 1 minute per side. Remove the short ribs and add them to the slow cooker.

Add the mushrooms, onions, garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, paste, beef stock and red wine to the slow cooked with the ribs. Stir in the oregano and thyme. Stir as much as you can, then cook on low for 8 hours.

After 8 hours, remove the ribs with a pair of kitchen tongs (keep the sauce covered) and let them slightly cool until you can touch them. Remove the beef from the ribs and add it back to the slow cooker. Add in the brown sugar, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and cheese. Stir well and cook for another hour on low heat. Remove the thyme sprigs.

Before serving, taste the sauce and season additionally if desired. You might need more salt and pepper. Don't be afraid to add it! Serve over bucatini and top with extra cheese.

[adapted from delallo]

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Slow Cooker Short Rib Sauce with Bucatini I howsweeteats.com

those noodle pillows though.