This homemade meat sauce recipe is an easy sauce that can be thrown on ravioli, rigatoni, or as the sauce for a delicious baked ziti. It’s a delicious roasted garlic meat sauce that will work exceptionally well for your pasta night!
This meat sauce recipe only uses a few ingredients but one of my secret ingredients is using a blend of roasted garlic and fresh garlic. You can use store-bought roast garlic or you can prepare roast garlic ahead of time. I love the sweetness the roasted garlic brings, but I also wanted more traditional garlic flavor, so that’s why I used a blend of fresh and roasted, but you can use all roasted, all fresh, or a mix, like I did!
How to make this Homemade Meat Sauce Recipe:
First, start by browning the meat. I use a mix of pork and beef in this recipe. You can use all pork, all beef, loose Italian sausage, or you can use turkey for a lower calorie choice.
Next, cook the aromatics. Start by browning the onions first. Next, add the minced red Fresno chili pepper, minced fresh garlic, and minced roasted garlic. Cook for just one minute until fragrant. This smell in your house from this roasted garlic meat sauce will be heavenly!
Return the browned meat to the pot and add beef stock and tomatoes and add a little bit of sugar to offset the acidity of the canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour. Make sure you stir the sauce occasionally to prevent it from sticking.
If you have tomato paste on hand, you can add it to the aromatics before adding the beef. It will allow your sauce to thicken faster, but because I cooked this for so long, it wasn’t necessary.
Right before tossing the homemade meat sauce with pasta, add fresh basil leaves to the sauce and allow them to wilt.
Looking for more pasta recipes? Check my archives!
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Homemade Meat Sauce
- Wide pot
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef 85/15
- 1 pound ground pork
- ½ teaspoon Crushed red pepper
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 6 cloves roasted garlic minced
- 1 red Fresno chili pepper or use crushed red pepper, trimmed and minced
- 2 cups beef stock
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sugar optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 10 basil leaves torn, plus more for serving
- 1 pound cooked pasta ½ cup pasta cooking water, reserved
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese for serving
Brown the Meat:
- Heat the oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat. Add the pork and beef and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, for 12-15 minutes until well-browned and completely cooked through. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Transfer to a bowl.
- If there is excess fat in the skillet, drain off all but 1 tablespoon fat.
Cook the Aromatics:
- Add the diced onion to the pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-7 minutes until softened. Melt the butter into the pot. Once melted and frothy, add the minced red Fresno, minced garlic, and minced roasted garlic. Cook for just 1 minute until fragrant.
Simmer the Sauce:
- Return the beef to the pot and toss to combine. Taste and season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the beef stock and crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Season with sugar. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour. Stir the sauce occasionally as it cooks to prevent it from sticking and add a splash of water or stock, as necessary, to loosen up the sauce if needed.
Finish the Sauce:
- Taste the sauce and season to preferences. Stir in the torn basil leaves and cook for 1-2 minutes more until wilted.
- Shortly before the sauce finishes simmering, cook the pasta and reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Add the pasta cooking water to the sauce. Using a spider strainer, scoop the pasta out of the pot and directly into the sauce. Toss to coat with the sauce. Turn off the heat. (Note: If meal prepping, only sauce the pasta you intend to eat immediately. Store the sauce and noodles separately in the refrigerator)
- Divide the cooked pasta between low pasta bowls and spinkle freshly grated parmesan cheese on top and a few more basil leaves, if desired. Enjoy!
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