Italian Meat Sauce with Spaghetti

The Italian meat sauce in this spaghetti dish will make you feel like you’re in the old country. Add garlic toast, salad and your favorite beverage (I enjoy a dry red wine with this) and you have a hearty meal.

Italian Meat Sauce with Spaghetti

I like to say this is how I enticed Will to be my husband as this is one of his favorite dishes. I was trying to remember how long I’ve been making this recipe. I think I was about ten and because it was one of my favorite pasta dishes I asked my mother to teach me. Over the years I’ve made small changes that have made it better (sorry Mom). As I grew up and my palate

became more refined the recipe evolved, too.

I’ve always enjoyed preparing savory food because you have the freedom to be more creative whereas with sweet it’s a bit more difficult, a little more science is involved.

1 pound lean organic ground beef, cooked, break it up as it cooks
1 pound good Italian sausage, cooked, broken up as well and drain any fat
1 large onion, diced
1-2 Tablespoons good olive oil
2 pounds tomatoes, diced or you can use one 15 ounce can of tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 can tomato sauce
Salt to taste, I add about 2 tsp.
Pepper to taste, about 2 tsp.
Half a red bell pepper, chopped
Fresh garlic 2-3 cloves depending on your taste and size of cloves
1 Tablespoon of the following spices
Celery leaves
Worcestershire sauce
Fresh parsley, chopped fine, loosely packed 1/4 cup if using dehydrated use about 2 Tbsp
1/4 tsp red pepper or to taste
1cup dry red wine

add tomatoes

Simmer the sauce

taste for seasoning

I usually start this sauce first thing in the morning and let it simmer all day. The flavors blend and the aroma is wonderful. Very welcoming for the family to come home to or to smell the entire day while watching the game or a great movie on the week end. They’ll be good and hungry and look forward to dinner.

In a large pot or Dutch oven saute your onions in a bit of olive oil until almost translucent then add your minced garlic and stir a minute or two. Remove and set aside.

In the same pot cook the Italian sausage, breaking it up as you cook this, drain any fat which there usually is with this type of sausage. You don’t need to remove the sausage just add the lean ground beef to the pot and cook, breaking it up as you go. Next add your cooked  onions and garlic that you had set aside. Now add the red bell pepper and stir as well for a couple of minutes.

Next add all the spices: salt, pepper, celery leaves, thyme, basil, marjoram, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, and the red pepper stir well to incorporate. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato sauce and stir. Now add your wine, stir and simmer. Simmer at least one hour or more, longer is better. Be sure to sample for taste, add more salt etc. as needed.

While you prepare the salad and bread start your water for the pasta and follow the package directions.


Italian meat sauce with spaghetti


Italian Meat Sauce with Spaghetti
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The Italian meat sauce in this spaghetti dish will make you feel like you're in the old country. Add garlic toast, salad and your favorite beverage (I enjoy a dry red wine with this) and you have a hearty meal.
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8 servings
  • 1 lb (454 grams) lean ground beef
  • 1 lb (454 grams) Italian sausage
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 lbs (900 grams) diced tomatoes or 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon celery leaves
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dried or ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • 1 cup (236 grams) dry red wine
  • To taste:
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 16 oz dried spaghetti
  1. In a large pot saute onions in olive oil until translucent
  2. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute
  3. Remove onions and garlic from pot and set aside
  4. In same pot, cook sausage and ground beef, breaking up clumps as you go, about 10 minutes
  5. Drain fat and add onions and garlic back to pot
  6. Stir in bell pepper and cook for 2 to 3 minutes
  7. Add all spices and Worcestershire sauce, stir until incorporated
  8. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato sauce, stir
  9. Add red wine, stir
  10. Check for seasoning, add additional salt and pepper if desired
  11. Simmer for minimum of 1 hour
  12. Follow directions for pasta