This recipe originated from a Sunset Pasta cookbook--though it’s nothing like the original.
Wine is used in this recipe, but don’t use wine you wouldn’t drink. And if you don’t drink wine, then omit it and use water instead. I’ve cooked this so many times that the ONLY thing I actually measure is the salt.
If you use a different brand of tomatoes, you might need to experiment with the salt AND the sugar. If the tomatoes are too acidic, more sugar might be needed. Sausage varies in salt content also, so I might want to taste a cooked piece prior to adding the seasonings.
We tend to serve this thick meat sauce over basic thin spaghetti noodles, but I have also used this sauce as the meat layer in a lasagna recipe. Serve with Caesar salad, a nice glass of red wine (hey--the bottle’s already open!) and a heated loaf of bread (neo-Tuscan boule or roasted garlic artisan loaf) to wipe up the sauce on your plate.
Spaghetti Meat Sauce
2 Tbls olive oil
1 med onion, chopped
2 med carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 lbs ground beef
1 lb mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1 can diced tomatoes (Hunts)
2 cans tomato sauce (Hunts)
½ cup dry red wine
2 tsp salt
1 Tbls sugar
¼ tsp pepper
1/8 tsp red pepper (cayenne)
1 tsp EACH dry rosemary, oregano leaves, and dry basil
1 bay leaf
½ lb sliced mushrooms
Heat oil in large stock pot (6-8 qt), until shimmery. Add and sauté vegetables for 3-4 minutes. Add meat and cook until brown, breaking up sausage into large chunks, drain any liquid. Add rest of ingredients EXCEPT mushrooms and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and allow sauce to simmer for an hour. Add mushrooms, and cook for 10 more minutes while salted water is heating for pasta.