An easy Italian Meat Sauce Recipe with ground beef and Italian sausage is versatile.
Perfect with meatballs, lasagna, ravioli, and on top of spaghetti, making this one versatile pasta sauce. Use fresh parsley and basil for an additional layer of old world flavor.
Spring officially started at my house a month or so ago. It had nothing to do with the date, the slew of singing birds in the area, the baby bunnies the dog loves to chase, or the budding trees.
Spring at my house gets started with the first potted fresh herbs sitting on the patio table.
Unfortunately, they had to spend their first night in their new home hiding under the patio table since we had tornadoes in the area.
Tornadoes are more of a spectator sport here in Oklahoma, but tender young plants don’t do so well in gusty winds, heavy rain, and hail.
It has been chillier than normal this spring and none of the herbs have done so well anyway.
Fresh basil and parsley are key ingredients for my lasagna and spaghetti sauce.
At this point, it will be weeks (maybe months) before I can harvest enough of both for a huge pot of sauce.
I like to keep a healthy supply of sauce (and other things) in the freezer for quick meals on busy nights. It helps break up the monotony of sandwiches.
Until I can harvest from the back porch, I just buy fresh basil and parsley from the store. It does not taste as good as what we grow in pots, but it is better than the dried stuff.
*Update – I have been using dried basil when the store’s basil has an astronomical price tag or does not look very healthy.
Use about 2 to 3 tablespoons of dried basil and give it a good firm rub between your hands before adding.
Do stick with the fresh parsley though, it is usually reasonably priced and it adds a bit of freshness to your sauce, even with dried basil.
I have a couple of pasta sauce recipes, but this one is the current favorite at our house.
Since this Italian meat sauce recipe makes a lot, I first sweat the onions and garlic in a skillet before adding them to a larger pot.
Then I brown my beef and Italian sausage in the onion and garlic flavored oil left in the pan.
Make sure to add all of the oil and fat from the meats as it has some tremendous flavor in it.
Go ahead and try browning your tomato paste in the skillet before adding it to the sauce.
Browning your tomato paste before adding to your sauce will add an extra depth of flavor to your pasta sauce.
Try browning your tomato paste in all your recipes that us it, any spaghetti sauce or chili recipe that uses tomato paste will benefit from this step.
Wash the skillet and put it back on the stove and you can make up some Aglio Olio in it for those folks who don’t like Italian gravy.
Simmer this sauce over the lowest heat you can and stir frequently to avoid scorching the sauce.
Try serving this sauce over spaghetti with a salad and some fresh Italian bread for a filling meal.
While you have fresh herbs in your hands, try adding a side of herbed oil for dipping the fresh bread in.
Tastier than butter and likely to impress your dinner guests too!
This pasta sauce recipe makes a lot.
I make large batches since it freezes well and can be used for so many things.
Just make sure you label what the bags or bowls you freeze this in.
- 3 tablespoon Light Olive Oil
- I large White Onion, diced small
- 6 to 10 Garlic Cloves, minced finely
- 3 pounds Ground Beef
- 3 Pounds Italian Sausage
- 3 12 ounces cans Tomato Paste
- 2 28 ounce cans Crushed Tomatoes
- 2 28 ounce cans Tomato Sauce
- 3/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper, optional
- 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- 2 teaspoons Fennel Seeds
- 1/2 cup fresh Parsley Leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh Basil Leaves, cut into strips
- In a dutch oven or very large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and sauted for a few minutes.
- In a separate skillet, brown hamburger and sausage. Drain excess liquid/fat. Place meat into pot with onions and garlic.
- Add tomato paste to pot. Mix to distribute.
- Add tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes. Mix well. Turn heat to medium, add pepper, sugar, Italian seasoning, and fennel seeds. Stir frequently. Once sauce starts to simmer, reduce heat to low. Add fresh basil and parsley.
- Continue to simmer for 1 to 2 hours, continue stirring frequently.
- Serve over hot pasta of your choice.
- Leftovers freeze well.
Adapted from Allrecipes
Serving Size:1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 271 Total Fat: 14.6g Saturated Fat: 4.6g Cholesterol: 66mg Sodium: 653mg Carbohydrates: 13.9g Fiber: 3.4g Sugar: 9.9g Protein: 21.8g
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