Meat Sauce for Pasta – Life Above the Cafe

Meat Sauce for Pasta

Like your grandma made it!
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Meat Sauce for Pasta

Meat Sauce for Pasta
Jan 28, 2020




10 min.

1 hour


This recipe for Meat Sauce is easy to make and full of flavor. The sauce is rich and hearty and tastes great on spaghetti, in lasagna, or even over elbow noodles. If you’re looking for a recipe that will please the pasta lovers in your house then try this one today.

My family is a house divided; half of the family prefers a creamy Alfredo Sauce while the other half of us prefer a meaty Red Sauce. I’m the cook and since I prefer Meat Sauce on my pasta we have it more often.

I don’t use fresh herbs in this dish because I don’t always have them at home, but I always have a spice rack full of lots of dried herbs. I do use freshly minced garlic in my recipe, but it’s easily replace by 1 to 2 teaspoons of garlic powder if that’s what you have available.

This Meat Sauce includes lots of freshly chopped vegetables to include carrots. The carrots help to sweeten the sauce naturally and take away the bitterness that is sometimes found in tomato sauce. I don’t add any extra sugar, but if you prefer a sweeter sauce then add a little brown sugar until you reach the desired sweetness level that you prefer.

I simmer my Meat Sauce on low with the lid on for about 45 minutes to an hour. For an even richer flavor, cook the sauce and then transfer it to a slow cooker for the day.

This sauce reminds me a lot of the Meat Sauce that Olive Garden serves. If you’re a fan of their meat sauce then this is definitely one to try!

I hope that you’ll try this recipe today and leave a comment below. Also, for daily updates follow @lifeabovethecafe on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.


  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • 1 Tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup of each diced celery, onion, carrots
  • 1 Tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 large 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 2 cups of water (you can also add half of this as red wine)
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1 Tbsp. of dried parsley
  • 2 tsp. of each dried oregano and basil
  • 1/2 tsp. of each rosemary, thyme, sage
  • 1 tsp. of salt (or more if needed)
  • 1/2 tsp. of pepper
  • optional – 1 Tbsp. of brown sugar


In a large nonstick pan warm the oil over medium high heat.  Add the diced carrots, celery, and onion and saute them for about 5 minutes. Next add the minced garlic and saute it for about 1 minute.  Add the beef bouillon cube and the tomato paste along with the dried parsley, oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper.  Cook the mixture for 2 – 3 minutes to remove the raw flavor from the tomato paste.

Add the ground beef to the pot.  As it cooks break it up with a spoon and stir it often.  I prefer small pieces for my sauce.  Once the meat is cooked, add the large can of crushed tomatoes and the 2 cups of water.  Stir everything well and allow it to come up to a low boil.  Turn the heat down so that the mixture simmers.

Continue simmering the sauce for at least an hour, stirring often to make sure that the sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. This sauce can be moved to a slow cooker to cook on low for a few hours for a longer simmer.

Note – Meatloaf mix is a great way to add more meats to your sauce since it usually contains, beef and pork.  Also, using 1/2 spicy Italian Sausage and 1/2 Ground Beef is another great alternative.

Additional Photos:

Diced Vegetables for Sauce
Diced Vegetables
Meat for sauce
Meat Browning
Meat Sauce for Pasta
Pasta ready sauce

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