Sometimes I like to cook elaborately. It all started when I was a little girl. I thought I needed to cook every possible dish I could put together when it was my turn to cook dinner. I was great at cleaning out the fridge. My mother didn’t appreciate my elaborateness at the time. But it grew on her as I learned to use it a bit better. I’m an elaborate girl & I like to make elaborate meat sauces like this one. I’m calling it meat sauce fancy because it’s very grown up & includes some fancy ingredients. I’m calling it full because it is full of flavor, full of meat, full of veggies, but mostly just full of everything good! Therefore, fancy full meat sauce.
My recipe filled up 4 big ‘ole glass jars of goodness. I put one away in the fridge & stashed the other 3 in the freezer for a rainy (lazy) day.
Round up some Italian sausage, ground beef, olive oil, dry white wine (or whatevers in your pantry), 2 jars of your fave store-bought red sauce, a tiny jar of tomato paste, a giant jar of crushed tomatoes, garlic cloves, an onion or 2, mushrooms of choice, zucchini, carrots, & parmesan- if you have it.
First let’s get all that meat browned up in a giant dutch oven. Or the largest pot you have. You don’t have to use half ground beef & half Italian sausage. That’s just what I prefer. You can use all ground beef or all Italian sausage or even hot breakfast sausage. Go wherever your ground meat heart may lead you.
While that’s going, get to work on chopping up some onions. I used 2 small white ones but if you have a large one on hand, by all means use him up!
I feel like I’ve taken a picture of chopped up onions on a cutting board 1,000,546,764,378 times. I’ll try to get more creative next time.
Once meat is cooked transfer to a colander to drain the grease. Just be extra careful with the size of the holes! We don’t want to loose any of that meat.
Now heat up some olive oil in the same pot & add the onion & sliced mushrooms to sauté.
Mince up some garlic & add that to the pot once the onions turn translucent.
Pour in a cup of white wine & let the veggies soak it all up!
Shred 2 cups of carrots. We’re gonna get all our veggie servings in today folks.
Add that orange to the pool.
Peel your zucchini & mince it up very finely in a food processor. Then add it the lovely mix you’ve got on the stove & let it all continue to cook until most of the liquid is absorbed- about 10 minutes.
Return the meat to the pot& stir into the veggies.
Now add all the cans of tomato goodness- paste, crushed & marinara
Add some pepper- 1/4 tsp or more to your liking.
Throw some salt in too. Start with 1/2 tsp & add more as you see fit.
Okay, I really just wanted to show off my teeny tiny mason jar measuring spoons. How could I not!
Add in a BUNCH of Italian seasoning- like at least 2 tsp & more if you desire. I started off easy with the spices & added a little more as I tasted it. You may or may not need to adjust yours depending on how flavorful you like your sauce & how spiced up your canned marinara is already.
Now for the finishing touch…plunge a parmesan cheese grind into the depths of the sauce. Let it simmer for at least 20 minutes. You can simmer for up to an hour if you like. The longer it simmers the more those flavors mix all up together!
If you like a thinner sauce, add 1 c water or 1 c beef broth before you start simmering. I like mine pretty thick & hearty so this consistency is perfect.
The simplest way to eat this over spaghetti noodles, or whichever type you prefer. You can also use it for lasagna or baked ziti or over stuffed shells or in between 2 slices of Texas toast smothered in garlic butter. Yum!
Now go get to cooking elaborately & be sure to wear your prettiest apron!
- 1 lb Italian sausage
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 large onion- chopped
- 1 pkg mushrooms- sliced
- 4 garlic cloves- minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 c carrots- shredded
- 1 zucchini- peeled & minced
- 2 jars of your fave store-bought red sauce
- 1-6 oz can tomato paste
- 1-28 oz can peeled/ crushed tomatoes1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- *optional- parmesan cheese rind
- Brown the sausage & beef in a big pot over medium-high heat. Once fully cooked, drain & set aside.
- Heat olive oil in the same pot. Add the onions & mushrooms. Sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the minced garlic & pour in the white wine. Add the carrots & zucchini. Continue to cook until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 mins.
- Return the meat to the pot & combine with the veggies.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients & simmer for 20 min- 1 hr.
- Serve hot over your favorite noodles or in any other Italian dish.