Classic Italian Meat Sauce

Spaghetti makes regular appearances at our house. The kids love noodles and any Italian dish is a big favorite for everyone. I like to make it because it is easy and quite economical.

This is not the first spaghetti sauce recipe I have shared. I have already posted a few different versions of spaghetti on the blog:

Spaghetti and Meatballs – Who doesn’t love this classic dish.

Sunday Gravy – This is my favorite spaghetti recipe but it requires 4-6 hours of low and slow cooking. Ribs, sausage and meatballs makes Sunday Gravy a meat lovers dream come true!

Merguez Meatballs with Tomato Sauce – If you are looking for a fresh take on this classic dish try this one with North African aromatics.

The recipe for today is my classic Italian meat sauce. I have used this recipe for years and probably make it 6 times a year, if not more. The dish uses basic ingredients but tastes amazing. The sauce is hearty and full of wonderful flavors.

Classic Meat Sauce-text 3

5 from 1 vote
Classic Italian Meat Sauce
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hrs 15 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 4 -6
Author: Steve Cylka
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion , diced
  • 1 sweet pepper (red, orange or yellow), diced
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms , sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 2 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes (3 cans if you prefer a thinner sauce)
  • 1 5.5 oz can of tomato paste (about 2/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp basil
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  1. Brown the ground beef in a large saucepan on medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to break it into small chunks while it is cooking. Continue to do this until it is all cooked through and you no longer see any pink. Drain the grease.
  2. Add the onion, pepper, mushrooms and garlic. Stir regularly and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until the onions and peppers are tender.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a low boil and lower heat to a simmer.
  4. Let the sauce simmer for 45-60 minutes. Stir the sauce regularly, scraping the bottom of the saucepan to ensure nothing is sticking or burning.
  5. Serve on cooked pasta noodles.

Classic Meat Sauce 2


  1. My family loves pasta with any kind of meat sauce. I wish I could just dunk a hunk of bread into that bowl. 🙂 Looks great. 🙂

  2. Yum…i feel like i can taste this through my computer screen. Is that weird?

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