I’ve been making this family spaghetti and meat sauce recipe for 40 years. No one will let me change a thing. It’s thick, robust and delicious. This simple spaghetti and meat sauce recipe has been in my family for 50 years. It was a regular in my home, then and now, and I love it. I realize I may be biased with this recipe (I am not an expert in Italian meat sauce or bolognese), but whenever I serve it to company, it gets great reviews. And my husband loves it so it’s in the regular rotation in the fall and winter.
The meat sauce is not fancy or foodie-esque. It’s hearty, yummy and has a nice balance of meat and tomato sauce. I prefer to use plain basic tomato sauce and add my own seasonings, but use what suits you or what you have on hand. Sometimes I use the White Linen Marinara sauce from Costco. If you’re feeling energetic, try out our San Marzano Tomato Sauce.
Serve the spaghetti and meat sauce with a Caesar or regular salad with garlic bread on the side. Cliche but right. And don’t forget to pass the freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Tailor To Your Taste
- If you like meatballs with your spaghetti and meat sauce, here’s what I do. I buy an extra half pound of ground beef and mix it with 1/2 an egg, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, salt, pepper and a bit of onion powder. I form the mixture into little 1 1/2 inch meatballs and drop them into the simmering sauce. Then I stir and let them cook along with the sauce. Or make a batch of our All-Purpose Italian Meatballs for a great addition to this meal (and to stretch the amount of people the recipe will serve to 6).
- Vary the amount of oregano, chili powder, chili flakes, salt and pepper to your liking. I suggest that you check the ingredients of the canned tomato sauce for added onions, garlic, basil, etc and adjust accordingly.
Shortcut For Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
- If I’m too lazy to chop onions, especially when I’m make a double batch of sauce to freeze, I use a food processor for chopping.
Simple Spaghetti and Meat Sauce Recipe
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 28-ounce can or jar plain tomato sauce (regular or thick)
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped (4 teaspoons)
- 2 tsp oregano (I often add another tsp)
- 1 tsp chili powder (or 1/2 tsp chili flakes)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp each, salt and pepper
- 3 large bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp prepared mustard (optional)
- 1 box spaghettini or spaghetti (375 grams)
- Garnish: Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- MAKE THE SAUCE: Saute onions on medium high in a medium-large pot for several minutes until translucent. Add ground beef and separate with a wooden spoon. Saute meat for 3-4 minutes until all pink is gone. Add garlic and saute another minute. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, mustard and all seasonings. Add 1 cup water. Stir to combine. Simmer over low heat for an hour partially covered, with the lid slightly ajar. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- MAKE THE SPAGHETTI: Boil spaghetti according to package directions. Drain.
- SERVE: Place portions of spaghetti on plates or bowls and generously ladle on the sauce. Or toss spaghetti with meat sauce and serve in a large family-sized bowl. Pass freshly grated Parmesan cheese as a topping.
Other spaghetti pasta dishes you might like:
Fresh Vegetable Pasta get the recipe
Creamy Tomato and Veggie Pasta get the recipe