Des

Hey! I'm Des!

Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

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Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Spaghetti and Meat Sauce is a classic recipe that everyone should have in their repertoire! This hearty, meaty sauce is always a hit with adults and kiddos alike.

If I had to pick one recipe that I could eat day in and day out, it would be this recipe. Spaghetti and Meat Sauce is a classic for a reason. Kiddos love it. Adults love it. It is always a crowd pleaser and on our rotation at least a couple times a month.

Side angle photo meat sauce over spaghetti.

Once you try it, I’m pretty confident it’ll become your “go-to” recipe for spaghetti sauce too!

What ingredients you need:

Overhead photo of ingredients for spaghetti with meat sauce.

ITALIAN SAUSAGE: This is super important to this recipe. Ground beef if classic, but Italian sausage gives so much flavor. When I’m feeding kiddos, I use mild. If I want to kick things up a bit, I use hot. Use what works best for your family!

OLIVE OIL: Depending on the fat in the sausage you use, you shouldn’t need much, I usually use about 1 tablespoon.

GARLIC/ONIONS: A must in meat sauce if I’m I’m being honest.

MUSHROOMS: Dice them up for a chunkier sauce!

RED WINE: Use a dry red like Cabernet Sauvignon. If you’re opposed to the alcohol, you could use beef broth.

DES’ TIP: My rule of thumb for cooking with any alcohol, make sure it is something that you like to drink. When you cook with it you will concentrate the flavor. 

pouring red wine into a pot.

DICED TOMATOES AND CRUSHED TOMATOES: Unlike many spaghetti sauce recipes, this recipe skips the pre-made marinara. I sometimes find those too sweet. Instead you make your own with diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes. Trust me it’s better and not anymore difficult!

BASIL/OREGANO: I use dried because I always have them on hand. If you use fresh herbs, just remember the standard rule that 1 teaspoon dried herbs = 1 tablespoon fresh.

SPAGHETTI NOODLES: Obviously you can spoon this meat sauce over any kind of pasta but spaghetti is a favorite!

Step by Step Photos and Instructions:

Step by step photos showing how to make meat sauce.

STEP #1: In a skillet or pot large enough to fit all of the sauce, add olive oil and Italian sausage. Cook over medium heat. Strain to remove oil and set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon of pan drippings.

STEP #2: Add the onion and garlic. Cook until they turn translucent, about 5 minutes.

STEP #3:Add the wine. Be sure to scrape up any yummy bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook 3 minutes.

STEP #4: Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, dried basil and oregano. Return sausage to sauce. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper as needed. Cook for at least 30 minutes.

DES’ TIP: While this sauce can come together in as quickly as 30 minutes, I will sometimes let it simmer up to 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. The longer it simmers, the thicker the sauce will get. 

STEP#5: About 20 minutes before you are ready to eat. Start your pasta and cook according to package directions. Strain. Place pasta in a pasta bowl and top with sauce.

Spooning spaghetti sauce over pasta.

Storing and reheating:

We usually always have leftovers, and might I say this spaghetti sauce is even better the next day! Store covered in the refrigerator and use within a few days. To reheat, heat the sauce in a medium sized saucepan until bubbly. Add noodles and cook until noodles are warmed through.

Overhead photo of a fork twirling spaghetti

I always serve this with my easy garlic bread and a salad with garlic vinaigrette or homemade caesar dressing.

If you loved this Spaghetti with Meat Sauce Recipe, you’ve got to check out some of my other favorite pasta recipes:

 Jerk Chicken Pasta 

Pasta Pomodoro

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Fettuccini Alfredo 

Aglio e Olio

Note: This post was originally published in 2009. It was updated with step by step photos, instructions a modified recipe and nutrition information in 2020.

Spaghetti and Meat Sauce Recipe

Serves 6 Prep Time: Cook Time:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage (hot or mild)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (28 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper as needed
  • 1 pound dried spaghetti noodles

Instructions

1

In a skillet or pot large enough to fit all of the sauce, add olive oil and Italian sausage. Cook over medium heat. Strain to remove oil and set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon of pan drippings.

2

Add the onion and garlic. Cook until they turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the wine. Be sure to scrape up any yummy bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook 3 minutes.

3

Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, dried basil and oregano. Return sausage to sauce. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper as needed. Cook for at least 1 hour, I sometimes like to cook it as long as 3 hours. (Note: I have had some experiences with some salty Italian sausage so I like to add my salt and pepper after the sausage has had time to cook in the sauce.)

4

About 20 minutes before you are ready to eat. Start your pasta and cook according to package directions. Strain.

5

Place pasta in a pasta bowl and top with sauce.

Notes

Nutrition information for estimation purposes only.

Nutrition information

Calories: 594 , Total Fat: 28.1g , Saturated Fat: 9.2g , Cholesterol: 113mg , Sodium: 834mg , Carbohydrates: 59.5g , Fiber: 6.2g , Sugar: 11.4g , Protein: 23.9g

Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    margie
    August 4, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    its delicious and thick sauce

  • Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

    Have new recipes emailed to you.