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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.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 646kcal
Cost 15


  • 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.
    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, puree and water. 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


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!


Calories: 646kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 162mg | Sodium: 801mg | Potassium: 636mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 4mg