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Italian Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

  • Author: Erin Browne
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 20 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean or extra lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 14oz cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 14oz cans plain tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (or 4 tsp dried)
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh parsley (or 2 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 3/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Chicken broth (optional, used to thin sauce - about 1/2 cup)
  • Sugar, optional


  1. In a large saucepan, heat 1 TBS of the olive oil and brown the ground beef, using a wooden spatula to break it into small pieces as it cooks.
  2. Remove the beef into a separate bowl and drain all but about 1TBS of the fat in the pan.
  3. Add carrots and onion to the reserved fat until the onions are soft and translucent.
  4. Add the garlic at the very end of the saute.
  5. Stir in the cans of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, the remaining olive oil, and all of the herbs and spices.
  6. Return the browned ground beef to the pot and stir.
  7. Simmer on low heat with the lid on slightly skewed for venting for 5 - 7 hours (it's worth the wait)
  8. At about 4 hours, if the sauce is still very thin, leave the lid off and continue simmering until it thickens up. If it's too thick, add small amounts of chicken broth to thin.
  9. Taste sauce and if it's too acidic, add sugar a teaspoon at a time until desired flavor has been reached.
  10. Serve over cooked pasta and top with grated Parmesan cheese.
  11. If you have lots leftover, cool to room temperature and freeze in an airtight container placed in a freezer bag. Use frozen sauce within four months.
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