I have a child who loves meat sauce on her pasta and I love her which means I needed to start making meat sauce for our pasta dinners.
I don't remember my Italian family eating meat sauce so I had to do some research to find a recipe. My mom and my grandmother made AMAZING pasta sauce and they put meat in the sauce to flavor it while it cooked but it certainly wasn't a TRUE meat sauce.
To be perfectly honest, I don't remember seeing meat sauce while we were in Italy either. I wasn't really looking for it though - I'm more of a marinara girl myself. I'm not sure how "Italian" meat sauce really is, but it doesn't really matter. I have a girl who loves it and I was going to figure out how to make it for her.
4 ounces mushrooms
1 slice hearty white sandwich bread (I used a hot dog bun because it was the only white bread that I had in the house.)
2 Tablespoons whole milk
salt and pepper
1 pound 85% lean ground beef
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained (reserve 1/4 cup tomato juice)
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Process mushrooms in food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl.
Add meat mixture and cook until beef loses raw color. (2-4 minutes) Do not brown.
Stir in crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook on low 30 minutes.
Stir in parmesan cheese. Serve with the pasta of your choice.
The verdict is in - Courtney LOVED this meat sauce. That's really all the confirmation I need to add this recipe to my "make again" collection. This one was a hit AND it made enough for a second meal too!
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