We love anything Italian around here...pizza, pasta, bread...those things can get consumed in mass quantities. Of course, we probably don't eat authentic Italian food, but the Americanized version is just fine. It's so easy to throw together a dinner party with a pot of spaghetti sauce and your favorite pasta, or take a little more time and make a couple of pans of lasagna. Add a salad and some bread and you're done.
This is my way to make a tomato-based meat sauce for pasta or lasagna. I also like to make a version that I call Sunday Gravy, in the Italian tradition of simmering all day with pork chops and beef.
For this sauce, you need ground round and Italian sausage, onions, garlic, crushed tomatoes, whole tomatoes, dry red wine, dried oregano, dried basil, dried parsley and a little sugar.
Start by browning the ground round and Italian sausage in a large pot. Once browned, remove with a slotted spoon. You want to leave a couple of tablespoons of fat in the pot, so if it looks like a lot more than that you'll need to pour some off. Toss in the chopped onions and garlic and stir for a few minutes on medium heat until starting to brown and get tender. Add the tomatoes, wine, herbs, sugar, a couple of cups of water and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer for a couple of hours. You should taste every now and then and tweak the seasonings accordingly.
You can easily make this sauce a couple of days ahead of time and keep it in the fridge or you could even freeze it.
- 1 lb. ground round
- 1 lb. ground sweet or mild Italian sausage
- 2 large white onions, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 28- oz. cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 28- oz. can whole tomatoes
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 1 small can water (use the tomato paste can)
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons dried basil
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- Brown the ground round and Italian sausage in a large pot. Once browned, remove with a slotted spoon. Pour off excess fat, leaving about 2 tablespoons.
- Add chopped onions and garlic to pot and stir for a few minutes on medium heat until starting to brown and get tender.
- Add the tomatoes, wine, herbs, sugar, tomato paste, water, and salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer on low or medium-low for about two hours, stirring occasionally.