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Italian Meat Sauce - A Family Feast

Italian Meat Sauce

Yield: 12 servings 1x
Prep: 30 minutesCook: 2 hoursTotal: 2 hours 30 minutes


1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil, divided

3 pounds lean ground beef (93/7 if possible)

2 pounds sweet Italian sausage removed from casings

2 cups yellow onion diced, about 2-3 small onions

2 cups green bell pepper diced, about one large bell pepper

2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced

1 6ounce can tomato paste

1 large pinch red pepper flakes

1/4 cup strong red wine such as Merlot

2 28ounce cans crushed tomatoes

4 teaspoons fresh basil chopped or half that of dry, divided

2 teaspoons fresh mint chopped or half that of dry, divided

2 teaspoons dry oregano, divided

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons butter


In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, over medium high heat, add two tablespoons of the olive oil and once hot, add both the ground beef and Italian sausage meat.

Cook and stir breaking up the pieces until fully browned with no pink showing.

Place a colander over a large bowl and scoop the meat along with the liquid into the colander to drain. Do not discard the liquid.

While the meat drains, place the remaining olive oil into the same pot and once hot, add the onions and peppers and cook for three minutes, stirring often.

Add the garlic, tomato paste and red pepper flakes and cook and stir for two minutes.

Add the wine and stir to deglaze and evaporate the wine, about one minute.

Add the drained cooked beef back in along with the canned tomatoes, half the basil, half the mint, half the oregano and all of the salt and pepper.

Take the strained liquid and skim off and discard the fat that is floating on top. You should be left with two cups of liquid. If not quite two cups, top off with a little water.

Add this liquid to the pot and stir the contents and bring to a fast bubble.

Remove from the burner and place a heat diffuser over the burner then set the pot back on with a lid covered partially.

Bring the heat to a low to medium simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for one hour.

After one hour add the remaining basil, mint and oregano along with the fresh parsley and return to heat partially covered for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese and butter and serve the finished meat sauce over your favorite pasta.

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If you like your meat sauce thick and chunky, there is nothing else you need to do once cooked. However, if you like it saucy, feel free to add additional tomato sauce to the finished meat sauce.

© Author: A Family Feast
Cuisine: Italian Method: simmer