Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Meat Sauce

When I moved to NYC the only way I knew how to make meat sauce was to brown beef and add Prego.
I worked for a family who made unbelievable sauce and showed me how to cook pasta al dente. After watching him and the food network I realized that making sauce was one of the hardest things to make if you don't know what you are doing. And with the right ingredients it is also the easiest.

When I first tried it I couldn't believe how bland it was and I had to add A LOT of salt. However once you learned how to make it you realize it is so easy and much better than any jar sauce out there. I am not opposed to jar sauce and here in NYC there are some very tasty ones out there. I showed my sister Brandi just how easy it is when she was here to visit and her and the kids gobbled it all up. Try this sauce and let me know what you think.

1 lb ground beef
2 (16 ounce) cans of tomato sauce
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup red wine (if you have it)
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp all spice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese


In a large pan add ground beef, break it up with spoon and brown on high heat. Cook for 2 minutes and then add 1 teaspoon salt, pepper and oregano. Cook another 2 minutes and add chopped onion. Once the meat is cooked through add minced garlic and all spice and cook 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup red wine (if you have it) and cook 2 minutes.

Add tomato sauce another teaspoon of salt and pepper and oregano. Simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add sugar and cook another 10 minutes. Add parm cheese and simmer while you cook pasta.

Cook pasta according to directions and do not over cook. Serve sauce over pasta and add more grated cheese to the top.

(The red wine is not essential but adds another great flavor if you have it)


  1. I love making homemade meat sauce :D Yours looks wonderful and delicious!!

  2. You've come a long way from Prego sauce! Love the sweet spicy addition of allspice and a wee bit of sugar ... it really tames the tomato acidity ... great recipe!

  3. This looks so good! I use nutmeg in my meat sauce but I think I will try the all spice next time I make it and I never use tomatoes, rather, I use only tomato paste!

  4. Great go-to meat sauce recipe, and I second Susan on the touch of sugar. It's a little known secret.

    I've become a fan lately of adding anise seeds to my pasta sauce. About a tablespoon of toasted anise would probably be about right for this quantity.

  5. Making this for the second time and it's delicious again. (Even if I don't use the red wine.)


    1. So glad you like it and that you made it twice. I always know it is a hit if you want to make it twice. :)