Spaghetti Sauce

I rarely make spaghetti sauce the same way twice, but today’s batch was such a hit with Fuzz and her friend that I wrote down the recipe and am posting it here for safe keeping. If you’re like me, you’ll end up making changes and adjusting it even more, but this batch turned out particularly well — not too spicy, a little sweet (you can omit the sugar, but I like how it brings out the flavor of the other ingredients) and fairly healthy. I used very lean ground beef and turkey sausage, so there wasn’t much fat to drain off at all.

spaghetti sauce

Spaghetti Sauce

1 pound lean ground beef
2 links turkey sausage, removed from casings
2/3 cup chopped onions
2 finely chopped cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt – may need a little more later
1 (28 ounce) can undrained diced tomatoes
3 oz tomato paste
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup red wine
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Spray a Dutch oven (I use a big Le Creuset lidded French oven) with cooking spray or rub it with olive oil. Brown the ground beef and sausage. If there’s any extra fat floating around, spoon it out. While the meat is browning, add the onions and cook them along with the meat. When the meat is almost completely browned, add the garlic and some of the salt – you can wait and add the salt at the end, but I like to salt the meat a bit. Stir well. When meat is browned, stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, wine, herbs and brown sugar. Continue stirring over medium heat. Add about ½ cup of water and cook partially covered for an hour. Sauce will go from somewhat runny to thick as the water evaporates.

When the sauce is thick, stir and taste. Adjust seasonings as necessary (more salt, sugar, herbs…however you like it).

Serve over spaghetti.

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  1. says

    We love spaghetti here. And I never make the same one twice and never follow a recipe. I also use white sugar and have never tried brown. I’ll have to try that. Sugar also helps cut the acidity of the tomatoes and I think without it tomato sauce tastes too salty. The sausage sounds like a good addition, too. I alway just use ground beef. I just bought some turkey sausages yesterday for a dinner I want to make, but maybe I’ll save back a few of them.
    Always a plus when it’s a hit with the kidlets!
    Happy New Year, Anna!

  2. Louise says

    Have you ever made “roasted tomato sauce” when tomatoes are in season? Romas are used and it’s naturally sweet from the roasting. I don’t put meat in the sauce but serve it over pasta as a side with grilled chicken breasts or something else. I usually can a few jars too to use over the winter partly to use up my garden tomatoes but mostly to remind me of summer. Just for the record, many tomatoes aren’t as acidic as they used to be as it’s been bred out of them.

  3. Marie says

    Instead of using sugar, try grating a couple carrots into your sauce. It’s a hidden vegetable and it adds just the right touch.

  4. says

    Louise, I have tried roasted tomato sauce. It’s good, but I make tomato sauce all year round and have to keep a supply of the canned stuff on hand. Our fresh tomatoes aren’t always very good.

    Marie, thanks for the tip! I’ve used pumpkin before and it adds natural sweetness too. I’ll have to try the carrots. I don’t have a problem with the small amount of sugar, though.

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