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1. In a food processor, combine carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Cover and process with on/off pulses until finely chopped; set aside. In a large skillet, cook ground beef in two batches over medium to medium-high heat until browned, using a wooden spoon to break up clumps. Drain fat.
2. In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine cooked ground beef, finely chopped vegetables, undrained tomatoes, broth, drained beans, tomato paste, sugar, salt, Italian seasoning, and 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper.
3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 9 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4-1/2 to 5 hours. If necessary, skim fat.
4. Shortly before serving, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Return pasta to hot pan. Add meat mixture; toss gently to combine. If desired, serve with cheese and/or additional crushed red pepper.