Meat Sauce

I’ve made a variation of this meat sauce since my early cooking days back in high school. This is the version I use most often to serve as a spaghetti sauce or layered in a lasagna. This sauce is also great with additional veggies such as fresh, in-season tomatoes, bell peppers, or mushrooms.


Meat Sauce

By Patty Nguyen Zurilgen   ||

Meat Sauce


  • 1 tbsp olive oilMeatSauce
  • 2 lbs. fresh Italian pork sausage
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1  6 oz can tomato paste
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp salt, or to taste
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar, optional (depending on the variety of crushed tomatoes, you may want to add a touch of sugar to balance out the acidity)


Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the sausage and cook until well browned. Add the yellow onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent, stirring frequently. Add the red wine, scraping the delicious brown bits from the bottom so they incorporate with the sauce. Next, add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, fennel seeds, dried rosemary, dried thyme, salt, pepper, and sugar (if using). Stir well and lower the heat until the sauce is at a low simmer. Partially cover with a lid and simmer for 2-3 hours. Simmering time is dependent on the tomatoes. More watery tomatoes will require a longer cooking time. Your sauce is done cooking when you can stand a wooden spoon up in it. Adjust seasonings to taste and enjoy!


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