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Homemade Meat Sauce

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!
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Inactive time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 628kcal


  • 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.

To Serve:

  • 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!


Calories: 628kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 37g | Sodium: 465mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin C: 16mg
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