Wednesday, January 26, 2011

We keep tinkering with recipes...

This is my husband's favorite pasta dish: penne with meat sauce, my  version of Mother's meat sauce.  Hers started with lamb pieces and took all morning to be ready. I don't have all morning. I tend to simplify my recipes to work in the time I have. This meat sauce has now become my stand by. It is easy to make, and quick to the table.  It works well on spaghetti, lasagna, or any kind of pasta you like.

For the sauce, I use ground beef and Italian sausages. Depending on your Italian sausages, you may want to add both heat and more flavorings.

Ingredients for meat sauce:

1lb of ground beef
1/2 lb of Italian sausages, sliced thin.
1 Can of whole tomatoes
1 Can of Contadina tomatoe paste
1C of good red wine
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 T beef boullion
1teaspoon of red chile pepper flakes
1teaspoon of fennel seeds
1 1/2 C water or beef stock

Saute the onions and garlic, with the red chile flakes and the fennel seeds. Brown the sausages and the ground beef, stirring so they don't over burn. Stir the wine and scrape the pan. Add the tomatoes, reserving the juice, and cook down, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes, for five minutes. Add the paste. Stir in for a couple of minutes. Add the tomato juice, water or stock, boullion cube, bay leaves.
Lower the heat and let the sauce simmer, stirring frequently for a minimum of twenty minutes.

Serve over pasta with grated parmesan cheese. Add a salad, crusty bread and a glass of the same red wine you used in the sauce.


Note: My mother used to make her own sausages and salumi and kept many sotto olio, under oil.
To learn about this technique, visit the blog Over a Tuscan Stove at the link below:


  1. Makes me hungry for pasta! It is amazing what a sausage or a piece of pork will do for a sauce. :-)

  2. Oh Patricia, you know these things, but our children do not. They follow recipes verbatum, and don't have a sense of balance. Thanks for the visit, dear friend.

  3. Wow, this sauce is awesome! I can understand why it's your hubby's favorite.

  4. This sauce/gravy makes my mouth water, and my tummy growl, I'm ready to make it. Thanks for sharing.

    Nancy at the Boat House

  5. Peg, Nancy,
    Make extra and freeze it. No need to buy ready-made sauce anymore.

  6. My husband is the cook in our house but I think I'll give this recipe a try. We all love pasta and I think we'll all love this sauce.