Italian Meat Sauce (or Gravy)

Italian meat sauce

Italian Meat Sauce (or Gravy)

Is is gravy or sauce? Either way, you’ll never need another Italian Meat Sauce (or gravy) recipe ever again.

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Italian sunday gravy

This easy Italian Meat Sauce is perfect when making Lasagna or Baked Ziti or whenever you just want to add a little meat to a Marinara sauce.

Need something to serve with Italian Meat Sauce? Try my Baked Rigatoni (Pasta al Forno) and Baked Italian Meatballs.

Italian Sunday gravy

How do you make Italian Meat Sauce?

Let’s get down to business.

Cooking onions in a pot
Onions and garlic cooking

You can’t make an Italian Meat Sauce without onions, so let’s first start by chopping some and adding them to some heated olive oil.

Once the onions cook for about five minutes, add some garlic. Now, you can either chop/mince the garlic and keep it in the pot throughout the entire cooking time or you can halve the garlic and remove it. It’s up to you and there’s no right or wrong way.

Cook for another minute.

Meat cooking in a pot with onions

Next comes the most important part of the sauce…the meat!

I add sweet ground sausage and ground beef to mine but the sky is the limit with what meat you want to add here. Short ribs, pork chops, veal, meatballs…you can’t go wrong with any of it so enjoy!

Browned meat in a pot

Cook the meat until browned.

Adding tomatoes to sauce
Adding puree to tomato sauce

Once the meat is browned, add the crushed tomatoes, puree and a little water. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fresh basil in tomato sauce
Covering Italian meat sauce

Add some fresh basil, cover and cook for at least 30 minutes. The longer you cook the sauce though, the more those flavors and juices release in the sauce. I typically cook mine for at least two hours. Today I cooked it for four!

Italian meat sauce
Italian meat sauce

Enjoy your family time with this Italian weekend staple!


Tools I used in this recipe:


Italian meat sauce

Italian Meat Sauce (or Gravy)

This easy Italian Meat Sauce is perfect when making Lasagna or Baked Ziti or whenever you just want to add a little meat to a Marinara sauce.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8

Equipment

  • 7.5 Quart Dutch oven or sauce pot

Ingredients
  

  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced or halved
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 2 lb Italian ground sausage hot or sweet
  • 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 28 oz can tomato puree
  • 14 oz water
  • 1 handful fresh basil chopped
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large Dutch oven or sauce pot. Once heated, add the chopped onions. Cook for about 5 minutes until they begin to soften.
    Cooking onions in a pot
  • Add the garlic (you can either mince the garlic and leave it in the sauce during cooking, or you can halve the garlic and remove it after you cook it for about a minute with the onions).
    Onions and garlic cooking
  • Add the ground beef and sausage. Break up and cook until browned.
    Meat cooking in a pot with onions
  • Add the canned crushed tomatoes and puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    Adding puree to tomato sauce
  • Add the chopped basil.
    Fresh basil in tomato sauce
  • Bring to a boil, then drop the heat, cover and simmer on low for at least 30 minutes but preferably at least 2 hours.
    Covering Italian Sunday gravy

Notes

This recipe makes enough for the entire extended family!  You can always freeze whatever is left over or just add 1lb of beef and 1 lb of sausage along with only 1 can of crushed tomatoes with the puree and cut down on the servings.  
I always like to make a lot.  To me, it’s better to have too much than not enough…not to mention we’re definitely a leftover family! 
Buon appetito!
Keyword Italian meat sauce, meat sauce, pasta sauce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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