If you’re a pasta lover just like me, then you must try making pasta with this Italian meat sauce recipe I’m about to share with you. What’s great about this Italian meat sauce recipe is that is adds a hearty flavour to any kind of pasta.
Another great thing about this recipe is that kids love it! You can serve this up to your family for a nice dinner or even at a kid’s party.
Once you’re done with this article you will end up with an authentic tasting Italian sauce based pasta that will surely impress whoever you serve it to.
Italian Meat Sauce
I personally prefer using Italian meat sauce over other pasta sauces because it pairs well with other meals. It is also pretty easy to make, and can be stored for future use.
What’s more is that Italian meat sauce can also be used as a great nacho dip or burrito filling if you’re not in the mood for pasta.
What You’ll Need
To make pasta with Italian meat sauce, you will need to prepare these following ingredients:
Lean ground beef
You can buy ground beef in your local grocery store or butcher shop. For this recipe, you will be needing about 2 pounds of ground beef. Ground beef is essential to this dish because it’s what adds heaviness to the sauce.
You should also season your ground beef with a decent amount of salt and pepper to bring out its flavors. I personally prefer adding a bit of sugar to the meat to make it a little sweet, you can try this too if you’d like to end up with a semi-sweet sauce.
You will also need about a pound of ground pork for this meat sauce recipe. The fatty meat that comes with ground pork adds a certain hearty flavor to this dish. You can get a pound of ground pork from your local grocery store or butcher shop.
You should also ask for the freshly ground pork instead of pre-packed ground pork. Having the freshest ingredients can highly affect the overall flavor of your dish.
You can get pasta from your local grocery store or even make your own pasta if you can. You don’t need a specific kind of pasta for this dish since you can pair Italian meat sauce for all kinds of pasta.
I personally prefer pairing it with regular spaghetti pasta and lasagna pasta. You should also cook your pasta beforehand. You should cook your pasta by boiling it in water with one or two tablespoons of oil, and a generous amount of salt for flavour.
2 tablespoons olive oil
Olive oil is one ingredient that has been widely used in the cooking world. It has several health benefits that come with its distinct flavor. For this Italian meat sauce recipe, you will need about two tablespoons of olive oil.
There is no specific brand, any type of olive oil will do. Olive oil is a very important part of this dish because it brings together all the flavors of the ingredients you will use.
For this recipe, you will be needing two bulbs of white onion. You can easily get your hands on white onions at your local grocery store. Onions will be added to the meat sauce because of their sweet taste when fully cooked.
You will use white onions instead of red onions because red onions contain less flavour than white onions when cooked. You should also chop both onions beforehand into small diced pieces using a fine knife.
Garlic adds a certain aroma to foods when cooked, which is why garlic is an essential part of this dish. For this recipe, you will be needing a clove of crushed garlic. You should not forget adding this important ingredient despite its quantity because it will be used for sautéing the Italian meat sauce.
I personally prefer using two or three small pieces of garlic instead of one huge clove because smaller garlic cloves are more flavorful and aromatic than the bigger ones.
You can get red wine from your local grocery or liquor store for a couple of bucks. For this recipe, you won’t be needing a specific brand of red wine. Any type will do you just fine.
I however, prefer going with fruity wines because of its sweet flavor. To make yourself an Italian meat sauce for pasta, you must prepare at least three cups of wine, anything more than that may give the dish an overwhelming flavor.
Just like other ingredients for this recipe, you can get mushrooms at your local grocery store. You should also look for fresh mushrooms to ensure an earthy flavor that will go perfect with your dish.
You can also choose any type of mushroom you prefer, I personally prefer going with small button mushrooms because they’re soft and chewy.
For this recipe, you’ll need 2 pounds of mushrooms. You should also slice it into small pieces beforehand so that they will be easily spread out in the dish.
Rosemary is a spice that can be bought in your local grocery store or market. For this recipe, you will be needing approximately ¼ teaspoon of dried rosemary.
If you choose to go with fresh rosemary, you should use about two rosemary sprigs. If you’re wondering why you should use more amounts of fresh rosemary as opposed to dried rosemary, it’s because dried spices contain more flavor that fresh ones.
This means that you should also be careful when using dried spices, because adding too much can add an overpowering flavor to your dish.
You can get fresh oregano from your local grocery store or farmers market. For this recipe, you will be needing four tablespoons of freshly chopped oregano. If you don’t have access to fresh oregano, you could always use dried oregano spices that can be found in grocery stores.
If you choose to use dried oregano spice, you should only use one teaspoon for this dish. Oregano is important for this dish because it adds a somewhat minty flavor to the sauce.
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Just like other herbal spices, you can get thyme from your local grocery store or farmers market. Thyme is widely used in Italian recipes because of its distinct flavor that adds a sense of freshness to each dish.
For this recipe, you will need a ¼ teaspoon of freshly chopped thyme. If you don’t have fresh thyme, you could always use a pinch of dried thyme spice.
If you are using dried thyme instead of fresh ones, remember not to add too much to avoid overpowering the flavor of your dish.
This dish will require plenty of tomato sauce. You will need about three cans or 29 ounces of tomato sauce for this dish. I suggest using any brand of canned tomato sauce because it will save you a lot of time in preparing for this dish.
I also recommend choosing a can of tomato sauce that has tomato pulps instead of smooth liquid tomato sauce because it adds a sense of texture to the dish.
You can get a can of tomato paste from your local grocery store for a couple of dollars. You will need to add a can or six ounces of tomato paste to this dish to make it taste like an authentic Italian meat sauce.
You may think that you cans skip the tomato paste since you’ll already add plenty of tomato sauce to the dish, but you shouldn’t forget the tomato paste because it is more concentrated that regular tomato sauce.
Parmesan cheese is an essential ingredient when it comes to pasta dishes. This cheese adds a certain tanginess and saltiness that completes any pasta dish. For this recipe, you will need about two tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese.
But if you’re a solid cheese lover like me, you may add two or three more tablespoons of parmesan cheese to your dish. However, you must avoid adding too much cheese since it can turn your dish into a very salty mess.
Let’s Get Started
Step 1: Cook the Meat
Using any type of pan, cook the 2 pounds of ground beef and 1 pound of ground pork. You can do so by setting your stove in medium heat, and then add a bit of cooking oil.
Once the pan is hot enough, continue by adding your ground beef and ground pork. To avoid burning your meat, you should stir the meat in the pan every minute or so. Once all the meat is no longer pink, you should set it aside to rest.
Step 2: Prepare the Sauce Base
Using a deep pan, you can start preparing your sauce base by sautéing the onions and garlic you have prepared. Start by adding a bit of olive oil to your pan. Once the pan is hot enough, you should now add your crushed garlic.
When the garlic turns a bit brown, you can now add your chopped onions. Next thing you should do is add about half a cup of red wine to the pan, and mix with thoroughly.
Step 3: Add Herbs and Spices
After preparing the sauce base, you can now add the flavorful herbal spices you have prepared. You may now add your sliced mushrooms, thyme, oregano, and rosemary to the pan.
Once you’ve added these ingredients, you should mix it a little and then add another half cup of wine. After adding the wine into the mix, continue to sauté all the ingredients until they’re all tender.
Step 4: Finish the Sauce
Once all the herbs, mushrooms, and spices are tender, you may now add the tomato sauce and the tomato paste. Gradually add the tomato sauce followed by the tomato paste in the pan.
After adding the tomato sauce and tomato paste, you should continue to stir the mixture to ensure all the flavors are mixed evenly.
Next thing you should do is let it simmer for an hour. As the sauce simmers, add the remaining two cups of wine. You should add 1 cup of wine before you let it simmer, and another cup after 30 minutes of simmering the sauce.
If you have a lot of time in your hands, you can maximize the flavor of the sauce by setting your stove in low heat, and by leaving the sauce to simmer for 2 to 3 hours.
Step 5: Serve with Pasta
Once your sauce is simmered, you can now serve it with your pasta. If you’re using spaghetti, fettuccini, or macaroni pasta, you can spread a ladle full of your sauce over the pasta.
If you’re using lasagna pasta, you should spread an even amount of sauce over each lasagna sheet as you put them on top of one another. To completely finish the dish, top your pasta off with some grated parmesan cheese.
When cooking pasta, you should always add a generous amount of salt to the boiling water. Adding salt while pasta cooks makes your pasta more flavorful and less dull. For every pound of pasta, you should add about one and a half tablespoon of salt to your boiling water. Anything more than that could lead to inedible salty pasta.
Making Al Dente Pasta
A good pasta dish should have pasta that’s cooked al dente. To find out if your pasta is cooked al dente, you should try biting into a piece of pasta about 20-minutes into boiling it.
A pasta is considered al dente when it is completely firm but a bit soft at the same time. Completely al dente pasta is also thoroughly cooked, you can check this by making sure the middle color of the pasta piece is the same as its outside color.
By the time you reach this part of the article, you should already be enjoying a fine pasta dish with an authentic Italian meat sauce. If you have any excess sauce left, you should try using is as nacho dip or a burrito filling, it’s really delicious.
If you liked reading this article, and would like to read more just like it, please leave your feedback in the comment box below. Until next time, happy cooking!