The Best Homemade Meat Sauce

Homemade Tomato Meat Sauce

Servings: 4
Cooking: 1 hr(s) 15 min Preparation: 10 min

An exceptional tomato meat sauce that is guaranteed to become a favorite! Simple ingredients perfectly paired together and cooked for just the right amount of time.


  • 1 lb.Ground beef
  • 26 oz.Strained tomatoes
  • 1/2 Onion, finely chopped
  • 4 clove(s)Garlic, finely minced
  • 1 handfulParsley, chopped
  • 1 handfulBasil, chopped
  • 1/2 handfulOregano, chopped
  • 1/2 handfulThyme
  • 1/2 cup(s)Red wine, dry & medium bodied
  • 2 1/2 tbsp.Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup(s)Water
  • 1 1/2 tsp.Salt

This sauce is a true tomato meat sauce that has a fresh tomato and herb taste. The texture of the meat is also preserved. Do not confuse it with bolognese, which is a sauce that cooks for much longer (resulting in a pasty texture for the meat) and has both milk and white wine.

Recommended wines to use: Sangiovese, Barbera, Pinot Noir (medium bodied).

A few very important notes about this recipe:

  • Buying fresh herbs can be expensive, so if you wish you can use dry thyme and oregano — use 1 tsp. of each instead. Only fresh parsley and fresh basil are recommended.

  • The cooking time for the sauce is very important. If you cook the meat for more than an hour, it’ll lose all its bite and have a pasty texture.

  • Start by sautéing the onions for 2 minutes with 2 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil over medium-low heat.

  • Add the minced garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.

  • Add 1 lb. of ground beef and raise the heat to medium. Sprinkle 1 tsp. of salt on top of the beef. Use a wooden spoon to break up the ground beef as it cooks.

  • When the beef is slightly browned, add the parsley, basil, and oregano. Give it a good stir and add the 1/2 cup of red wine. Let it simmer for 4 minutes or until most of the wine has evaporated.

  • Stir in the 26 oz. of strained tomatoes, 1/2 tsp. of salt, and the thyme sprigs.

  • Cover and simmer over low heat for 55 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs. Note: If the lid does not have a hole for the steam to escape, cover the pot while leaving a tiny crack.

Basil, Parsley, Thyme, Oregano
Fresh herbs used in the sauce

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