Italians are renowned for being passionate about food, and whilst this one-pot chunky Italian Meat Sauce recipe takes a bit of time and effort to prepare, the end result is absolutely worth it!
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Italian Meat Sauce Recipe
The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions, to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required and understand the steps and timings involved.
This hearty, chunky meat sauce takes a little while to come together, with 40 minutes of prep, and 3-4 hours to simmer and truly develop the flavor. However, the end result is well worth the effort!
Why not make it on the weekend when you have more time to cook? It makes a large batch, making it a perfect meal prep recipe.
You can then store it in the fridge to reheat for serving over pasta, or with polenta, or in a dish like this cheesy lasagna.
The sauce actually tastes better a day or two later when the flavors have had a chance to develop. This recipe also freezes well for later use.
Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe
While most ingredients can be bought in grocery stores, for your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients and equipment needed for this recipe have been linked to Amazon or other stores if available online.
It may not include staple ingredients such as oil, salt, sugar, etc., as you’re likely to have those in your kitchen. The complete list of ingredients with measurements is found in the recipe card.
- Fresh Produce – Onion, Garlic, Mushrooms, Celery, Carrot,
- Protein – Ground Beef, *Sweet Pork Sausage, Spicy Pork Sausage
- Dairy – Parmesan Cheese Rind
- Dry Red Wine – use a wine you enjoy drinking
- Canned Tomato Purée – in the UK use Passata
- Canned Petite-Cut Tomatoes – in the UK use finely-chopped tomatoes
- Tomato Paste – in the UK it’s known as tomato purée
- Dried Oregano
- Dried Thyme
- Dried Rosemary
- White Sugar
Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog use both cup measurements and/or weighted measurements. American cups and kitchen food scales are handy pieces of equipment to have in your kitchen as it means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog. I try to give American, imperial, and metric measurements in my recipes. Please note, you can mix cup measurements with weighted measurements, but never mix imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.,) with metric (kilograms, grams, litres, etc.,).
- This is an American recipe and uses an ingredient called sausage. Which looks like (what us Brits would call) sausage meat (or you could use pork mince if you prefer). Essentially it is seasoned pork – just like the spicy pork you get on top of pizzas!
- From American recipes I have made and seen over the years, spicy sausage, sweet sausage, and [simply] sausage seem to be popular. This recipe uses spicy sausage and sweet sausage, but you could adjust the ratio of each one to you personal preference.
- So what if you’re not in the USA and want to make this dish? Well, you can totally make it!
- You could buy some spicy or sweet sausages from a deli or supermarket and remove the meat from the casings to use in the recipe.
- Or you could make your own using either pork mince or sausage meat. Check the easy recipe below!
Homemade Italian Sausage Seasoning
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 1 tsp onion granules
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning – this recipe uses store-bought Italian Seasoning, but it is so easy to make your own herb mixes, especially if you already have a bunch of herbs and spices in your pantry already. Just mix equal measures of dried basil, oregano, rosemary, parsley, and thyme. You can also add a pinch of garlic granules or powder as well as red chili flakes if you like. Store in an airtight jar and use in recipes as required.
- ¼ tsp fennel seeds, ground
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- Mix the seasonings above in a bowl and add to 450g sausage meat or pork mince. Use as required in recipe.
- You could also double, triple, etc., the seasoning recipe and store in an airtight jar in a cool, dry place and seasoning meat as and when. It can also be used for beef or turkey mince.
- To make SWEET sausage add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar to the mix.
- To make SPICY sausage add 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes. You can experiment with different ratios to your taste too!
More Recipes Using Sausage
One of the hero ingredients in this dish is sausage, so here are some more recipes using the same:
- Slow Cooker Sausage Chili – A Classic Recipe with a Twist!
- Oven-Roasted Apple & Sausage Stuffed Butternut Squash
- Potato, Sausage, and Broccoli Breakfast Casserole
More Sauce Recipes
Looking for more sauce to make? Check these recipes out next:
- Homemade Dark Cherry Barbecue Sauce for Ribs, Chicken & Burgers!
- Crispy Zucchini Fries with Marinara Sauce – A Tasty Gluten-Free Appetizer
- Spicy Chicken Satay Recipe with a Peanut Dipping Sauce
- Save yourself some time by crumbling up the beef and sausage with your fingers prior to browning. This will give you more consistently sized chunks of meat and is much easier than trying to break up the meat while it is browning.
- To freeze the sauce, divide into portions and place in freezer-safe container or bags and freeze for up to 3 months. Label your containers so you can use them in the allotted time frame. After 3, maybe 4 months at a push, freezer burn may develop imparing the flavor of the sauce.
- Thaw the frozen sauce in the fridge, and heat gently over a low heat until heated through. You could also use the defrost and reheat selections on your microwave if pressed for time.
How Do I Make Italian Meat Sauce?
Check out the printable recipe card below with full ingredients and instructions. Any demonstration photos do not print out to save your ink.
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
- 2 cups white mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
- 2 large stalks celery, cleaned and finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cup dry red wine, divided
- 1¼ lb (565g) ground beef, 85% lean
- 1 lb (450g). bulk sweet pork sausage
- 1 lb (450g) bulk spicy pork sausage
- 2 (28-oz/790g) cans tomato puree (passata)
- 1 (28-oz/790g) can petite-cut tomatoes, undrained (finely-chopped)
- 2 (6-oz/170g) cans tomato paste (purée)
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp dried rosemary,
- 2 Tbsp white sugar
- 3-4” (7.5-10cm) Parmesan cheese rind
- 2 whole bay leaves
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- In a large (6 quart (5.5L) or larger) heavy-based saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes until the onion softens and the mushrooms start to release liquids.
- Add celery, carrots and one-half cup wine and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes.
- Add crumbled beef and sausage to the Dutch oven and cook for 8-10 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Remove from heat and carefully drain excess fat from the pot.
- Return to heat and add tomato puree, petite-cut tomatoes, tomato paste, and remaining red wine to Dutch oven, along with oregano, thyme, rosemary, and sugar. Stir to combine.
- Add the bay leaves and Parmesan rind. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine.
- Cover and simmer on low heat for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. If the sauce is too thick, add a little water to achieve the desired consistency. If it is too thin, continue cooking until it reaches the thickness you prefer.
- Remove from heat and discard the bay leaves and Parmesan rind. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired.
- Serve immediately with your favorite cooked pasta and some cheesy garlic bread.
- Refrigerate or freeze unused portions for later use. Enjoy!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 671Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 130mgSodium: 941mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 7gSugar: 20gProtein: 39g
This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
Make It A Special Dinner!
You’ve made the sauce for your main dish, but what about the rest of the courses?
Here are additional recipes to create a menu for a special meal or dinner party:
- Appetizer: Classic Caprese Skewers with Balsamic Glaze
- Soup: Italian Meatball Soup
- Salad: Roasted Artichoke Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Side Dish: Cheesy Garlic Bread
- Beverage: Delicious Prosecco Cocktail with Blackberry, Elderflower & Basil
- Dessert: Tiramisu – With A Twist!
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy – please feel free to check them out too.