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I think everyone has a favorite go-to tomato sauce for their pasta.  This sauce is my variation on spaghetti and meatballs.  If you’ve never made your own sauce, don’t be intimidated!  It doesn’t take more than a couple of hours to make (and it takes less than an hour if you use ground beef instead of cubed meat), and it’s so much better than jarred sauces!  This sauce gets real depth of flavor and a touch of sweetness (to balance out the tomatoes’ acidity) from the almost-caramelized onions.



Spaghetti with Homemade Meat Sauce


(Yield:  ~14 servings)


1 ¾ lb beef, trimmed of fat and diced into ¼” cubes (or you can use ground meat)

2 TB olive oil, divided

½ tsp salt

2 small-medium onions, diced

2-4 cloves garlic, minced

28 oz can Redpack petite diced tomatoes (with the juice)

6 oz can tomato paste

2 bay leaves

2 cubes beef bouillon

1 TB dried basil

½ TB dried oregano

½ TB Worcestershire sauce

¼ tsp ground black pepper

¼ c minced fresh parsley

~2 lb pasta (I use either Ronzoni Smart Taste (pictured) or Barilla Plus)


Brown the beef in 1 TB of oil over medium-high heat.  Add the salt to the beef, add enough water to just cover the beef, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for ~1 hour (if there’s still more than ½ c of water in the pot after simmering for 1 hour, remove the lid and simmer for another 15 minutes).  (If you’re using ground beef, just brown up the beef and proceed with the rest of the recipe…there’s no need to let it simmer for an hour.)


In a separate pot, sauté the onions and garlic in 1 TB of oil for 10-15 minutes over low heat until the onions are soft and translucent and almost caramelized.  Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves, bouillon, dried basil, dried oregano, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper, and cook over medium heat for ~15 minutes.  Turn off the heat, and stir in the parsley and meat.


Prepare the pasta al dente according to the package instructions.  Combine the sauce with the pasta and serve.


Garnish Ideas:  A sprig of fresh parsley, minced fresh parsley, fresh shaved Parmesan cheese, or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. look mighty tasty!! home made meat sauce taste real good. a must make for dinner :)

  2. I made my own meat sauce once and it was so worth the effort. It’s pretty simple, just takes time. This sound delicious.

  3. I never ever use jar pasta sauce! Why pay big bucks when you can make your own so easily? It’s a snap! And love your meatilicious pasta sauce recipe!

  4. This is just our (hubby’s and my) type of pasta sauce. We love ground beef on top of pasta, and all those spices are absolutely perfect! A quality red wine would be a wonderful accompany for this mouthwatering pasta. YUM!

  5. Home-made meat sauce is the best. Especially the way the mouth-watering smells fill up your house. This looks real delicious!

  6. Your sauce looks scrumptious! yummy!



  7. This meat sauce looks delicious. I love how thick it is.

  8. The spaghetti with homemade meat sauce looks so delicious!

  9. Always looking for a new way to prepare spaghetti!!Much thanks. Figtreeapps

  10. There’s little more appealing than a bountiful bowl of spaghetti! This looks delicious (although it has set off a spaghetti craving at 9am for me!) :P

  11. Because I am Italian I love making homemade meat sauce…! I make different variations and will try yours soon… haven’t had spaghetti in a while and I miss it!

  12. I’ve made a very similar meat sauce except with the addition of shredded adds a nice subtle sweetness. This looks great!

  13. I’ve only ever made homemade sauce! My Italian parents would kick my butt otherwise!

  14. Wow…this looks fantastic, now I want spaghetti for dinner! :)

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