In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Sprinkle the short ribs with a ½ teaspoon salt and add to the skillet. Brown on both sides and then remove to a large crock pot.
Add the onion, garlic and Italian seasoning to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes until the onions begin to soften. Add the salt, red pepper, sugar and balsamic vinegar to the pan. Cook and stir for another 1 minute then add the mixture to the crock pot with the beef.
Add the tomatoes into the crock pot. Fill one of the tomato cans halfway with water and add that to the crockpot as well.
Cover the crock and cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 6 hours. Remove the short ribs from the sauce, shred with a fork and return to the sauce.
Serve over hot cooked pasta with parmesan and crusty bread.
If you can’t find boneless short ribs, substitute chuck roast. Just cut it into large chunks before browning. You could even use country style pork ribs if you wanted.