One of the most budget friendly and satisfying meals that I make is a pasta sauce. Now when I say ‘sauce’, take that term lightly. This recipe is so thick and meaty that it puts the average pot of chili to shame. It holds so well to your spaghetti or penne noodles that only a fork is required!
My only word of caution is to please, please, PLEASE use fresh rosemary for this recipe. The other herbs can be dried, but do not skimp on the fresh rosemary. This should not break the budget as I use 3/4 of the clamshell from Walmart for $0.97. You can also do all beef, if that is your preference but I love the flavor mixture of pork & beef. Plus, having one third of the meat as ground pork helps the grocery bill.
Meaty Pasta Sauce
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 0.5 lb Ground Pork
- 1 small can diced tomatoes (plain, salt added)
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 3 carrots, finely diced
- 3 celery stalks, finely diced
- 4 cloves of fresh garlic, smashed
- 1 1/4 cup red wine of choice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Half tin tomato paste
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Brown ground pork and ground beef with nutmeg in dutch oven. Drain. Set aside in a new bowl.
- In same dutch oven (don’t clean it out!), heat olive oil. Add chopped onion, carrots and celery. Add enough salt to allow the veggies to sweat. Once veggies start to soften, add garlic.
- Once onions are translucent, add can of tomatoes (with juices), dried herbs, cup or so of water and wine. Simmer covered on stovetop for 1.5 hours, adding sprigs of fresh rosemary half way through simmer time.
- Once sauce is nearly completely reduced, add browned ground beef and pork. Mix in tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce temperature to low and let combine for at least a half hour, stirring now-and-then.
- Spoon pasta sauce over spaghetti noodles and serve with a generous amount of parmesan. And wine. Please do not forget the vino!