The Best Meat Sauce Recipe
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5 from 1 vote

The Best Spaghetti Meat Sauce

This spaghetti meat sauce recipe will satisfy all of your homey, cozy, I-need-a-hug-in-a-bowl-of-pasta feelings. It's deeply flavourful and richly tomatoey. The recipe is simple. Nothing fancy. Just regular old ground beef  like your mom made, no wine, no veal or pork or sausage. Just exactly the comfort food you want. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8
Author: Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion minced
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 3/4 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 6- oz 156 mL can tomato paste
  • 1 28- oz 796 mL can unsalted tomatoes (pureed)
  • About 1 1/2 tsp coarse salt


  • Heat oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and 1 tsp salt and cook until very soft, about 12 minutes. 
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add beef and increase heat to high. Season with another 1/2 tsp salt and cook until well browned (it'll take a while).
  • Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until it darkens a shade and smells toasty, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in pureed tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Taste and add remaining salt to taste. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 30 minutes or up to a few hours, stirring every now and then and keeping it at a bare simmer.