Friday, March 23, 2012

Rich and Hearty Meat Sauce

I'm mostly blogging this so that I can pin it and check my measurements on those forgetful days.  I have been making spaghetti sauce this way for years, just estimating on most amounts, but this time I actually paid attention and wrote it down, and I thought I'd share. 

We love this sauce.  It's fairly easy, as spaghetti sauces go--I pretty much doctor up the sauce mix packet from the store.  But the result is rich, complex, slightly spicy--really great on spaghetti and fabulous in a lasagna.  I make a large batch, and sometimes I freeze half but sometimes we just eat it all.

Usually I serve it with Caesar salad, but we had to finish off this sad bag of
iceberg blend.  (I accidentally just typed bland instead of blend...maybe I should have left it!)

 So here we go!

Ingredients:1 lb leanest ground beef (I use the lean stuff, usually 4% fat, because the sausage MORE than makes up for it.)
1 lb Italian sausage (mild for the kids, although I prefer spicy)

2 packets spaghetti sauce with mushrooms mix (I usually just use the Kroger store brand)
12 oz can of tomato paste
1 ½ cup red wine (something decent, because you'll want to drink the rest of the bottle, right?)
3 cups water
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 heaping tsp minced garlic (or 2-3 cloves, minced)
4 cubes frozen minced basil (each one is equivalent to about 1/2 tsp fresh.)


1. In a large sautee pan, mix the ground beef and sausage together and brown it.  Drain fat, then set aside.

2.  In a 4-quart or larger saucepan, whisk the tomato paste with the 2 sauce packets, water, and red wine.  Bring to a boil.  

3.  Once it's all boiling, stir in the italian seasoning, garlic, and frozen basil.  I buy it at Trader Joe's, and it looks like this--I've never seen it anywhere else.  If you are using fresh basil instead, I'd add it at the very end.
4.  After all the seasonings are incorporated, stir in the drained cooked meat.

5.  Let simmer until it reaches desired consistency--I like mine pretty thick, so I'll usually simmer for 20 minutes or so.

6. Serve over pasta cooked according to package directions and top with shredded parmesan, or use in other dishes calling for spaghetti sauce, like lasagna.

YUM!  We love this stuff.

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