Spaghetti With Meat Sauce Recipe

This recipe for spaghetti with meat sauce is the epitome of classic Italian comfort food. It uses a rich, hearty meat sauce that's slow-cooked to perfection, creating a depth of flavor that's truly irresistible. The freshness of the herbs, paired with the savory meat and tangy tomatoes, results in a pasta dish that's comforting, satisfying, and brimming with deliciousness.

Spaghetti With Meat Sauce Recipe
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Photos of Spaghetti With Meat Sauce Recipe

Most of the ingredients for this recipe are common pantry staples. However, you may need to visit your supermarket to buy fresh herbs like basil and parsley. The use of dried marjoram, thyme, rosemary, and sage may also require a trip to the spice aisle or an international market if they're not already present in your pantry. Also, this recipe uses Romano and Parmesan cheese for garnish, which you can find in the cheese section of your supermarket.

Ingredients for Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

extra virgin olive oil: Used to brown the meat and sauté the veggies, then added to the sauce for extra richness.

lean ground beef: The main source of protein in this dish, providing a hearty, meaty flavor.

carrot and onion: Sauteed until golden, they provide a sweet, mellow base flavor.

garlic cloves: Added during the last minute of sautéing, they lend a distinct pungent flavor.

roma tomatoes: The key ingredient in the sauce, imparting a fresh, tangy taste.

fresh basil and parsley: Adds an aromatic freshness to the sauce.

dried rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram, and sage: These herbs lend a unique, robust flavor to the sauce.

bay leaves: Infuse the sauce with a subtle, sweet-bitter flavor.

salt and freshly ground black pepper: For seasoning.

chicken broth: Optional, can be added to thin the sauce if desired.

romano and parmesan cheese: Used for garnishing, they add a nutty, savory flavor.

One reader, Harman Tracey says:

star icon star icon star icon star icon star icon

This spaghetti with meat sauce recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are rich and the meat is perfectly seasoned. The aroma while it simmers is heavenly. It's a family favorite, and I love how the sauce clings to the pasta. It's a must-try for any pasta lover!

Harman Tracey

Key Techniques for Perfecting Spaghetti with Meat Sauce Recipe

How to brown ground beef: In a large non-stick saucepot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Crumble ground beef into the pot and brown, stirring occasionally and breaking up the beef as you stir until cooked through.

How to sauté vegetables: Sauté carrot and onion in reserved fat over medium-high heat until golden for about 4 minutes, adding in garlic during the last minute of sautéing.

How to simmer sauce: Return the pot to low heat and simmer the sauce uncovered for 5 to 8 hours, stirring occasionally.

How to garnish with cheese: Serve the sauce warm over pasta garnished with grated cheeses and additional chopped fresh parsley or basil if desired.

How To Make Spaghetti With Meat Sauce

Looking for an authentic Italian style pasta? Try our spaghetti recipe packed with flavorful ingredients and Italian-style spaghetti sauce simmered low.

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 20 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • ¼cupextra virgin olive oil,divided
  • lbslean ground beef
  • medium carrot,finely grated (about ½ cup)
  • ½medium yellow onion,finely diced (about ½ cup)
  • 4garlic cloves,finely minced
  • 56ozRoma tomatoes,crushed
  • ¼cupfresh basil,chopped
  • 2tbspfresh parsley,chopped
  • 1tspdried rosemary,crushed
  • ¾tspdried thyme
  • ½tspdried oregano
  • ½tspdried marjoram
  • ½tspdried Sage
  • 2bay leaves
  • ½tspsalt,or to taste
  • ¼tspfreshly ground black pepper
  • ½cupchicken,or beef broth, to thin sauce if desired
  • freshly Romano and Parmesan cheese,or Mizithra cheese, finely grated for serving

Instructions

  1. In a large non-stick saucepot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Crumble ground beef into the pot. Brown beef, stirring occasionally and breaking up the beef as you stir until cooked through.

  2. Drain ground beef, reserving 1 tablespoon fat in the pot. Place browned beef in a food processor and pulse until finely ground for about 10 to 15 seconds, set aside.

  3. Saute carrot and onion in reserved fat over medium-high heat until golden for about 4 minutes, adding in garlic during the last minute of sauteing.

  4. Remove from heat and stir in 2 cans crushed Roma tomatoes, remaining 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram, sage, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and browned beef.

  5. Return pot to low heat and simmer uncovered for 5 to 8 hours, stirring occasionally.

  6. Add broth to the sauce to thin sauce if desired.

  7. Remove bay leaves and serve sauce warm over pasta garnished with grated cheeses and additional chopped fresh parsley or basil if desired.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 342.23kcal
  • Fat: 25.58g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.84g
  • Trans Fat: 1.01g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 13.07g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.64g
  • Carbohydrates: 10.44g
  • Fiber: 3.11g
  • Sugar: 6.09g
  • Protein: 18.36g
  • Cholesterol: 66.95mg
  • Sodium: 226.87mg
  • Calcium: 54.71mg
  • Potassium: 782.48mg
  • Iron: 2.76mg
  • Vitamin A: 193.05µg
  • Vitamin C: 30.62mg

Expert Advice for Enhancing Spaghetti with Meat Sauce Recipe

When preparing the meat sauce, it's important to really let it simmer for the full 5 to 8 hours. This allows all the flavors from the herbs and spices to fully infuse into the ground beef and tomatoes, creating a rich and robust sauce. If you're short on time, a minimum of 2 hours can work, but the longer it simmers, the better the flavor. Also, don't forget to stir occasionally to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Prep ahead: Chop vegetables and brown the ground beef the night before to save time on the day of cooking.

Use a food processor: Use a food processor to quickly chop the carrots, onions, and garlic for the sauce.

Slow cooker: Consider using a slow cooker to simmer the sauce for several hours, allowing you to attend to other tasks while it cooks.

Freeze extra: Make a double batch of the sauce and freeze the extra portion for a quick and easy meal in the future.

Multi-task: While the sauce simmers, use the time to prepare other components of the meal or to tackle other kitchen tasks.

Organize ingredients: Before starting the recipe, organize all the ingredients and utensils needed to streamline the cooking process.

Pre-cut ingredients: Purchase pre-cut vegetables to save time on chopping and preparation.

One-pot meal: Consider cooking the pasta directly in the sauce to save time on washing additional dishes.

Cook in bulk: Make a large batch of the sauce and use it for multiple meals throughout the week to save time on cooking.

Substitute Ingredients For Spaghetti With Meat Sauce Recipe

  • extra virgin olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a similar high smoke point and mild flavor, making it a suitable substitute for extra virgin olive oil.

  • lean ground beef - Substitute with ground turkey: Ground turkey is a lean and healthy alternative to ground beef, and it can be used in the same way in the recipe.

  • yellow onion - Substitute with white onion: White onions can be used as a substitute for yellow onions, as they have a similar flavor profile and can be used interchangeably in most recipes.

  • roma tomatoes - Substitute with canned diced tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes can be used as a substitute for fresh roma tomatoes, especially when they are not in season, and they provide a similar flavor and texture to the dish.

  • fresh basil - Substitute with dried basil: Dried basil can be used as a substitute for fresh basil, although the flavor may be slightly different, it still adds a nice herbal note to the dish.

  • fresh parsley - Substitute with dried parsley: Dried parsley can be used as a substitute for fresh parsley, although the flavor may be slightly milder, it still adds a nice herbaceous element to the dish.

  • garlic cloves - Substitute with garlic powder: Garlic powder can be used as a substitute for fresh garlic cloves, providing a similar flavor without the need for mincing or chopping.

  • carrot - Substitute with celery: Celery can be used as a substitute for carrots, adding a similar crunch and subtle sweetness to the dish.

  • dried rosemary - Substitute with dried thyme: Dried thyme can be used as a substitute for dried rosemary, providing a similar earthy and aromatic flavor to the dish.

  • dried thyme - Substitute with dried oregano: Dried oregano can be used as a substitute for dried thyme, adding a similar herbaceous and slightly floral note to the dish.

  • dried oregano - Substitute with dried marjoram: Dried marjoram can be used as a substitute for dried oregano, providing a similar mild and slightly sweet flavor to the dish.

  • dried marjoram - Substitute with dried sage: Dried sage can be used as a substitute for dried marjoram, adding a similar earthy and slightly peppery flavor to the dish.

  • dried sage - Substitute with dried thyme: Dried thyme can be used as a substitute for dried sage, providing a similar herbaceous and slightly floral note to the dish.

  • bay leaves - Substitute with dried thyme: Dried thyme can be used as a substitute for bay leaves, providing a similar earthy and aromatic flavor to the dish.

  • salt - Substitute with sea salt: Sea salt can be used as a substitute for regular salt, providing a similar salty flavor to the dish.

  • black pepper - Substitute with white pepper: White pepper can be used as a substitute for black pepper, providing a similar pungent and slightly floral flavor to the dish.

  • chicken broth - Substitute with vegetable broth: Vegetable broth can be used as a substitute for chicken broth, adding a similar savory and umami flavor to the dish.

  • romano cheese - Substitute with pecorino cheese: Pecorino cheese can be used as a substitute for romano cheese, providing a similar sharp and salty flavor to the dish.

  • parmesan cheese - Substitute with grana padano cheese: Grana Padano cheese can be used as a substitute for parmesan cheese, offering a similar nutty and savory flavor to the dish.

How to Beautifully Present Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the dish, ensure that the spaghetti is neatly twirled and placed on the plate with precision. The meat sauce should be generously spooned over the top, creating a visually appealing presentation.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle a few freshly torn basil leaves over the top of the spaghetti and meat sauce to add a pop of color and a hint of freshness to the dish.

  3. Incorporate a touch of elegance: Consider serving the spaghetti and meat sauce in a shallow, wide-rimmed bowl rather than a traditional plate. This adds a touch of sophistication to the presentation.

  4. Use high-quality serving ware: Opt for elegant, minimalist serving dishes that allow the vibrant colors of the spaghetti and meat sauce to take center stage.

  5. Consider the visual balance: Pay attention to the balance of colors and textures on the plate. The rich, deep red of the meat sauce against the golden strands of spaghetti creates a visually striking presentation.

  6. Add a sprinkle of grated cheese: Just before serving, delicately sprinkle a mixture of freshly grated Romano and Parmesan cheese over the top of the dish, adding a final touch of indulgence and flavor.

  7. Emphasize attention to detail: Wipe the edges of the plate to ensure a clean presentation, and consider adding a subtle drizzle of high-quality olive oil around the edge of the dish for a polished finish.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

  • Large non-stick saucepot: A large, non-stick pot is essential for cooking the meat sauce, as it prevents the ingredients from sticking and allows for even heat distribution.
  • Food processor: This is used to finely grind the browned beef, creating a smoother texture for the meat sauce.
  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is used for combining the ingredients before adding them to the saucepot.
  • Grater: A grater is used to grate the Romano and Parmesan cheese for garnishing the finished dish.
  • Knife: A knife is necessary for chopping the carrots, onions, and garlic.
  • Cutting board: A cutting board provides a stable surface for chopping and preparing the vegetables and herbs.
  • Wooden spoon: A wooden spoon is ideal for stirring the sauce as it simmers, and it won't scratch the surface of the saucepot.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: These are used to accurately measure the olive oil, herbs, and spices for the meat sauce.
  • Can opener: A can opener is needed to open the cans of crushed Roma tomatoes.

Proper Storage and Freezing Instructions for Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

  • Allow the spaghetti sauce to cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • To store in the refrigerator, transfer the cooled sauce to an airtight container and keep it refrigerated for up to 4-5 days.
  • For longer storage, freeze the sauce in the following ways:
    • Freezer-safe containers: Portion the cooled sauce into freezer-safe containers, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace to allow for expansion. Label the containers with the date and amount, and freeze for up to 3 months.
    • Freezer bags: Ladle the cooled sauce into heavy-duty freezer bags, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Lay the bags flat in the freezer for easy storage and quicker thawing. Freeze for up to 3 months.
    • Ice cube trays: For smaller portions, ladle the cooled sauce into ice cube trays and freeze until solid. Transfer the frozen cubes to a freezer bag, label with the date, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. These smaller portions are perfect for quick, single-serving meals.
  • To thaw frozen spaghetti sauce, transfer the container or bag to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight. Alternatively, place the frozen sauce in a bowl of cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes until the sauce has thawed.
  • Reheat the thawed sauce in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature. If the sauce appears too thick, add a little water or broth to thin it out.
  • Do not refreeze previously frozen and thawed spaghetti sauce, as this can affect its texture and quality.

The Best Methods for Reheating Leftover Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

  • Reheat spaghetti and meat sauce separately. This allows you to control the texture of the pasta and prevent it from becoming mushy or overcooked.

  • For the spaghetti, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook for 30-60 seconds, just until heated through. Drain the pasta and toss it with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.

  • For the meat sauce, place it in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally until the sauce is heated through, about 5-7 minutes. If the sauce seems too thick, add a splash of chicken broth or water to thin it out.

  • Alternatively, you can reheat the spaghetti and meat sauce together in the microwave. Place the pasta and sauce in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until heated through.

  • If you have leftover spaghetti and meat sauce that have already been combined, you can reheat them together in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add a splash of chicken broth or water to loosen the sauce and prevent the pasta from drying out. Stir occasionally until heated through, about 5-7 minutes.

  • For a crispy texture, reheat the spaghetti and meat sauce in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a little olive oil to the skillet and toss the pasta and sauce together until heated through and slightly crispy, about 5-7 minutes.

  • To reheat frozen spaghetti and meat sauce, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight. Then, follow one of the above methods to reheat the pasta and sauce together or separately.

Interesting Trivia About Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Spaghetti with meat sauce is a classic Italian dish that is loved by many around the world.

Budgeting for Homemade Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

This spaghetti with meat sauce recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The use of affordable ingredients like ground beef, carrots, onions, and canned tomatoes makes it budget-friendly. The long cooking time enhances the flavors, making it a worthwhile investment. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $20, making it an economical choice. The overall verdict for this recipe is 9/10, considering its affordability and delicious outcome.

Is Spaghetti with Meat Sauce Healthy or Unhealthy?

The spaghetti with meat sauce recipe has both healthy and unhealthy aspects. On the positive side, it includes a variety of vegetables such as carrots, onions, and garlic, which provide essential nutrients and fiber. The recipe also uses lean ground beef, which is a good source of protein and can be part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation. Additionally, the use of herbs like basil, parsley, and oregano adds flavor without increasing calorie content.

However, there are some areas where the recipe could be improved to make it healthier:

  • Reduce the amount of olive oil used in the recipe to lower the overall fat content
  • Use whole wheat pasta instead of regular pasta to increase fiber intake
  • Include more vegetables in the sauce, such as bell peppers, zucchini, or mushrooms, to boost nutrient density
  • Opt for low-sodium chicken broth to reduce the overall sodium content of the dish
  • Use a combination of lean ground beef and ground turkey or chicken to further reduce fat content

By incorporating more vegetables and whole grains, reducing the amount of oil and sodium, and opting for leaner protein sources, this spaghetti with meat sauce recipe can be transformed into a more nutritious meal that still satisfies your taste buds. Remember, enjoying your favorite dishes is all about balance and moderation, so don't be afraid to indulge in this comforting pasta dish occasionally as part of a well-rounded diet.

Editor's Opinion: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce Recipe Review

This spaghetti with meat sauce recipe is a classic and comforting dish. The combination of fresh herbs and spices adds depth of flavor to the sauce, while the use of lean ground beef makes it a healthier option. The slow simmering process allows the flavors to meld together beautifully, resulting in a rich and hearty sauce. The addition of grated Romano and Parmesan cheese at the end adds a delicious finishing touch. Overall, this recipe is a wonderful choice for a satisfying and delicious meal.

Enhance Your Spaghetti With Meat Sauce Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Bread: Slices of crusty bread slathered in a garlic and herb butter, then toasted to perfection.
Caesar Salad: Crisp romaine lettuce tossed in a creamy Caesar dressing, topped with crunchy croutons and shaved parmesan cheese.
Bruschetta: Toasted baguette slices topped with a flavorful mixture of diced tomatoes, basil, garlic, and balsamic glaze.
Caprese Salad: Slices of ripe tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, drizzled with balsamic reduction and garnished with basil leaves.
Roasted Vegetables: An assortment of colorful vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, and carrots, roasted to caramelized perfection.

Delicious Alternatives to Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken: Marinate the chicken in a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and herbs. Grill until cooked through and serve with a side of roasted vegetables.
Mango Avocado Salsa: Combine diced mango, avocado, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice for a refreshing and flavorful salsa. Serve with tortilla chips or as a topping for grilled fish or chicken.
Butternut Squash Soup: Roast butternut squash, onions, and garlic until caramelized. Blend with vegetable broth, nutmeg, and a touch of cream for a comforting and creamy soup.
Chocolate Lava Cake: Melt dark chocolate and butter, then mix with sugar, eggs, and a bit of flour. Bake until the edges are set but the center is still gooey. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Appetizer and Dessert Ideas to Complement Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your guests with these savory stuffed mushrooms, filled with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. The perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal.
Bruschetta: Satisfy your guests' taste buds with this classic Italian appetizer. Toasted bread topped with a vibrant mixture of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, and olive oil. A refreshing and delicious way to start any gathering.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth after a delicious meal.
Berry Parfait: Layered with creamy yogurt, fresh berries, and crunchy granola, this berry parfait is a delightful and refreshing treat. Each spoonful is a burst of fruity flavors and creamy goodness.

Why trust this Spaghetti With Meat Sauce Recipe:

This recipe guarantees a delicious and authentic spaghetti with meat sauce experience. The use of high-quality ingredients such as lean ground beef, fresh herbs, and extra virgin olive oil ensures rich flavors and a satisfying meal. The detailed cooking process, including browning the beef and simmering the sauce for hours, showcases a commitment to depth of flavor and culinary excellence. The incorporation of freshly grated Romano and Parmesan cheese adds a touch of indulgence, elevating the dish to a gourmet level. Trust in this recipe for a truly memorable dining experience.

Share your thoughts on this delicious Spaghetti With Meat Sauce Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section. Let's discuss any tweaks or variations you've tried!
FAQ:
How long should I simmer the meat sauce?
Simmer the meat sauce for 5 to 8 hours to allow the flavors to develop and the sauce to thicken to the desired consistency.
Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef?
Yes, you can substitute ground turkey for ground beef if you prefer a lighter option. Just be mindful that the flavor and texture may vary slightly.
Can I make the sauce ahead of time?
Absolutely! In fact, the flavors of the sauce tend to deepen and improve when made ahead of time. Store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze it for longer storage.
What type of pasta pairs best with this meat sauce?
Spaghetti is the classic choice for this meat sauce, but you can also use other pasta shapes like fettuccine, rigatoni, or penne. Choose a pasta shape that can hold the hearty meat sauce well.
Can I omit the cheese garnish?
Certainly! The cheese garnish adds a rich and savory element, but if you prefer to omit it, the meat sauce will still be delicious and flavorful.

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