Welcome to the Strug Kitchen!
So, this is a slow cooker recipe based on one I found online, on The Recipe Rebel’s website: https://www.thereciperebel.com/slow-cooker-baked-ziti/. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly because first, what would the Strug Kitchen be if I did? And second, because I honestly didn’t have some of the ingredients needed, and had to improvise. I also made some mistakes regarding the measurements of ingredients (I really need to remember that lbs are not equal to kg!), so I’ve altered the measurements to what I think would work best, instead of what I actually did.
Instead of pasta sauce, I used plain stew, just because I thought it would taste better and because it would be easier on my wallet to use what was already at home. I was initially going to use leftover stew in my fridge instead of making it from scratch, but sadly unwatched and unclaimed Tupperware containers of stew tend to go missing in my house (the culprits know who they are). But one advantage of using a slow cooker when making stew is that lazy people like me don’t have to leave it on the stove for ages to potentially burn if you look away for too long, although you may have to endure some judgement from others.
I think the star of this dish is really the meat, and the Knorr Savoury Mince seasoning I found at Shoprite really makes the meat taste so good. You probably won’t need to use the whole pack, but just add as much as you want.
But enough with the talking, let’s get to the recipe!
- 0.5kg ground minced pork (or beef if you like, I just find pork tastier and less tough)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pack Knorr Savoury Mince seasoning
- about 1 1/2 cups of plain stew
- 1 can chicken or beef broth
- 1 cup water
- 375g of pasta (about 4 cups)
- Pour the seasoning packet onto the meat, and mix until the meat is evenly coated.
- Cook meat until browned, and place in the slow cooker.
- Add the stew, broth and water to the slow cooker and stir with the cooked meat.
- Turn the slow cooker on and cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours.
- 45 minutes towards the end of cooking, add the pasta, and stir until combined. Check and stir after 20 minutes.
Tips: I used a 5-quart slow cooker for this recipe, so I would recommend using one that size or larger, since pasta expands during cooking and may try to escape.
Also, the cook time for the stew mixture is to allow the flavours to mix, but if you’re in a hurry, you can just shorten it and add your pasta, although I wouldn’t recommend it.
Don’t forget, you can customize the dish however you like! You can melt some cheese on top of the pasta after it’s done cooking, or add some veg on the side of your plate or mixed into the whole dish.
By Guest Hacker Peet the Chef
Peet is a very part time chef, and a full time bubble enthusiast. Peet enjoys long talks with her slow cooker, and even longer silences with everyone else.