Meat sauce has never been my favorite. I always preferred Spaghetti with meatballs over meat sauce, I’m not a lasagna fan, and avoid homemade beefaroni like the plague. Until now. This meat sauce is so full of flavor, so aromatic, so delicious.
One of my favorite smells in the kitchen is the combination of onions, garlic, and oil in a pan. That’s exactly how this recipe starts. To me it’s the sign of a delicious meal to come.
Adding the ground beef and then the tomatoes, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and oregano adds to the aroma and fills the kitchen with so much warmth.
One of the best parts of this recipe is that if you know you may be short on time, you can prepare it the day before or even freeze ahead.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 (16 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, cilantro or basil
- 1 cup water
- Begin by combining the chopped onion, garlic cloves and olive oil in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium low heat for about 15 minutes or until soft and golden. At this point the garlic cloves will be very soft. Smash them with a wooden spoon or a spatula. They will melt into the sauce. (No need to chop them)
- Add the ground beef and mix well over high heat.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and oregano. Mix to combine.
- Pour the cup of water over everything and mix one more time.
- Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium. Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened to the consistency that you prefer. You may cook it longer if you like a more concentrated, thick meat sauce or you can even add a little more water if you like a thinner sauce.
Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and enjoy!
As you can see, I used the recipe as part of my first adventure in making the dish, Moussaka. Combining the powerful flavors in the meat sauce with the creamy Bechamel and the eggplant, cheese and tomatoes, made this the ultimate in comfort food.
I’ll be making Spaghetti with meat sauce using this recipe very soon!