Thursday, October 24, 2013

Italian Meat Sauce

A few days ago hubby said it's been a long time since I last made a meat sauce.  Boy was he right I can't even remember the last time I made it.  When you think of an Italian meat sauce you picture hours of slaving in the kitchen and I think a lot of people don't want to deal with it.  Yes, it does take hours to make a good meat sauce but 3 hours of it it's just sitting there simmering.  Every 1/2 hour or so you go in a give it a nice stir and bask in the beauty of what you are making.

What is nice about a meat sauce after you have spent the hours waiting for the sauce it only takes about 10 minutes to boil the pasta.  Or if you want everyone think you really slaved make a lasagna, stuffed shells, manicotti, this sauce is so versatile.  If you like a thick sauce just follow the recipe below if you like a thin sauce I have that in the recipe too.

Italian Meat Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 stocks celery, finely chopped
2 large carrots, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 ounces pancetta, diced small
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup dry red wine
3 tablespoons tomato paste
32 or 35 ounce can Italian peeled tomatoes whole
1 1/2 cup beef stock (maybe more)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 large bay leaves
1 teaspoons red pepper flakes (1/2 teaspoon for less heat)
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil over a medium high heat in a large dutch oven.  Add onions, celery and carrots; sauté for 10 minutes; or until soft.  Add garlic and stir until you can smell the garlic.  Add pancetta; give it a few stirs and then add ground beef, at this point I like to add a little salt and pepper.  Using a spoon to break up ground beef until crumbly.  Cook for 15 minutes; stirring a few times.

Add wine; bring to a boil for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add tomato paste stirring so tomato paste covers everything.  Add the juice from the canned tomatoes, using your hands tear tomatoes up gently so they don't go squirting juice all over the place.  (I like to use my hands that way if I find tomato skin or a really thick piece of tomato I can throw it away).  Add beef stock, oregano, bay leaves and red pepper flakes; stir and set heat to low and cover for 2 hours; stirring occasionally.

Heat one cup of milk and add to meat sauce; salt and pepper to taste.  If the sauce is too thick for your liking add a 1/4  to 1 1/2 cups beef broth until you find the consistency that you like.  Simmer for another 2 hours.  Serve with tagliatelle or fettuccini top with fresh basil and finely grated parmesan cheese.

Shared with Jam Hands: Recipe Sharing Monday #77 and Weekend Potluck #100


  1. Yummy. I'm going to have to try your recipe.

  2. I was just thinking the other day I need to make a big batch of meat sauce to put in the freezer for those upcoming days when I'm too busy to think. Will have to try your recipe!


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