When I first started cooking, I aspired to have a recipe (or a few) that became my signature dishes. Recipes that I have made so many times, I could make them blindfolded. Recipes that would bring my homesick children home for a visit when they get older.
Roughly 13 years later, I’m proud to have a few signature dishes under my belt. I make damn good buttermilk biscuits, The Husband swears by my chocolate meringue pie, and I have homemade lasagna down pat. There is one more item I need to add – homemade meat sauce for spaghetti.
Check out my step-by-step instructional slideshow on how to make this sauce.
I’m gonna be upfront with y’all. This is not something you’ll be able to whip up in 30 minutes or less. If quick and easy is what you’re after, you’ll want to grab a jar of Ragu. But I’m here to tell you, that won’t be nearly as good. This sauce tastes like it has been slowly simmering on a stove for a few hours because it has!
This is actually the same sauce I use in my lasagna recipe (this lasagna was posted in the early days of the blog, so the pictures aren’t exactly up to par. Please be kind!) The lasagna is another recipe that requires some time, so when I block out time to make it, I will make a double batch of sauce. Any leftover sauce is canned and stored on a shelf in the laundry room (you can also freeze this). The lasagna also freezes well. Even though I have to put in some work on the front end, it’s nice to have homemade spaghetti sauce (that’s not store-bought) within reach in case I need to come up with a quick, tasty meal.
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
- 1 pound lean ground sirloin
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 package (8 oz) of sliced mushrooms
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 3 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
- 2 (15 oz) cans canned tomato sauce
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
- In a large pot with lid, cook sausage, ground sirloin, onion, mushrooms, and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until well browned.
- Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and balsamic vinegar.
- Season with sugar, basil, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and parsley.
- Simmer on low, covered, for at least 1½ - 2 hours, stirring occasionally.