Is is gravy or sauce? Either way, you’ll never need another Italian Meat Sauce (or gravy) recipe ever again.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below/on the side are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links, at no additional cost to you. I have used all the products listed and recommend them because they are helpful and are companies that I trust, not because of the commissions that I may earn from you using these products.
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.
How do you make Italian Meat Sauce?
Let’s get down to business.
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.
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!
Cook the meat until browned.
Once the meat is browned, add the crushed tomatoes, puree and a little water. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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!
Enjoy your family time with this Italian weekend staple!
Tools I used in this recipe:
- Lodge 7.5 Quart Dutch Oven
- Misen Chef’s Knife
- J.K. Adams Butterfly Cutting Board
- Riveira Wooden Cooking Spoons
Italian Meat Sauce (or Gravy)
- 7.5 Quart Dutch oven or sauce pot
- 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
- 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.
- 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).
- Add the ground beef and sausage. Break up and cook until browned.
- Add the canned crushed tomatoes and puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the chopped basil.
- Bring to a boil, then drop the heat, cover and simmer on low for at least 30 minutes but preferably at least 2 hours.