Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

22 reviews, 4.5 star(s). 95% would make again

Ready in 45 minutes

A really easy and delicious all-purpose sauce for pasta and lasagna. The lengthy cooking time allows the rich flavors to really develop and gives the sauce its great flavor. The results are a thick, hearty and tasty spaghetti sauce with not much effort. It does take a little more time, but it's worth it.


1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup onion; finely chopped
1/4 cup carrot; finely diced
2 large cloves garlic; (or 3 small), minced
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 pound lean ground beef; (preferably ground round)
1/2 pound lean ground pork; (or, additional ground beef)
1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Dried basil
1/4 teaspoon Crushed red pepper
1 can (6 oz) Tomato paste
1/4 cup Dry Red Wine
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) Tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon; or to taste
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese; freshly grated (plus additional for serving)
1 pound Thin Spaghetti

Original recipe makes 6



Put olive oil into a cold Dutch oven or large heavy saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until just barely hot. Add onion and carrot, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper to bring out the flavors, and saute until softened. Add garlic and saute 1 to 2 minutes more, but do not let garlic burn.

Add beef, and pork if used; cook and stir until no longer pink. Drain off excess fat. Add oregano, basil and red pepper flakes; mix well. a little more salt and pepper is good right here. Stir in the tomato paste. Stir in the wine until well-blended. Add crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce and mix well. Stir in sugar and cinnamon and bring slowly to a simmer.

Simmer uncovered over low heat from 1 to 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Stir in Parmesan; simmer 1 hour longer, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain and divide into 6 warm serving plates. Ladle sauce over the pasta and serve with additional Parmesan on the side.


Use only a non-stick, enamel coated Dutch oven or stainless steel pot; aluminum or cast iron are reactive and can yield a metallic taste.

You can add a heaping teaspoon of bacon fat to the olive oil and use all beef (no pork).

Use the best canned tomatoes possible. Best brands of crushed and whole tomatoes are San Marzano, Muir Glen, Cento, or any others if the cans say tomatoes are "San Marzano".

Any brand of tomato paste and tomato sauce is fine---I use Hunt's or Muir Glen.

This sauce freezes well in sealable 1-quart plastic containers or 1-quart freezer Ziploc bags..

Also, if you really love meat, add some home-made or ready-to-cook frozen meatballs during the last hour of simmering.


I sometimes replace the ground pork with an equal amount of good butcher quality Italian sausage (either sweet or hot) that's been removed from its casing and crumbled.

Use this sauce with any cooked pasta (allow about 1 cup sauce for each 1 1/2 cups pasta), or layer sauce into lasagna.

I often double the recipe and freeze the leftovers in 1-quart freezer Ziploc bags for use later.

This recipe calls for wine. Don?t be shy about cooking with wine, even when the kids are eating it -- the alcohol cooks off very quickly, leaving just an amazing flavor behind. This recipe only uses 1/4 cup dry red wine, just enought to make the sauce a little more interesting, but you can use more or less to taste. However, the tannin in red wine will darken the sauce considerably. So, if your going to use more than 1/4 cup, I would suggest substituting either a dry white wine (such as Pinot Grigio) or a dry vermouth (I like the herby, woodsy accents it adds to food).

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Spaghetti with Meat Sauce



Calories Per Serving: 742 Get detailed nutrition information, including line-by-line nutrition insights?  Try BigOven Pro for Free for 14 days!

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A little too sweet so the next time I left out the cinnamon and sugar. Turned out great.
Jenniferpikul 10m ago

klb1rq 2y ago

Another win from the author! Sauce was too fab and delish!
ZenaUBugn 2y ago

did not need the sugar.
sallythig 2y ago

Fantastic sauce. Will try less cinnamon and more wine next time around. Thanks!
venaro 2y ago

This was amazing!
LouisLover0098 3y ago

The best. This recipe in my go to file for spaghetti sauce-thank you for sharing.
jennerg 3y ago

sooooo amazing! i have enjoyed all ur recipes so far. i added mushrooms after the tomato sauces, and cooked my meat first then added to sautéed garlic. added to my favs!! thanku
RheaR 3y ago

I made this last night and it was excellent.....hank you for sharing
loriurban 3y ago

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