This is mainly for my daughter and her boyfriend so I can send them this link in the future lol. But I did post the original recipe back in 2010, so it’s time for an update!
Makes A LOT and can easily feed 10 people plus leftovers. Either halve it, or better, freeze half for later. It also makes INCREDIBLE baked ziti and lasagna. For the meatlovers, brown more Italian sausages separately, cook through, and add on top.
Ingredients for full batch:
4 T olive oil (roughly a T per pound of meat)
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 packages of Italian sausage, casings removed
2+ lbs ground beef
2 8oz cans of tomato paste (roughly 1 can per 2 lbs of meat)
1 bottle of your favorite red wine (I use Dancing Bull merlot or Apothic red)
Dried basil/Italian seasoning to taste
Kosher salt, garlic powder to taste
1/4+ c sugar (my kids generally prefer pretty sweet spaghetti but it helps cut the acidic tomato)
1. In a large deep pot, heat olive oil and sauté the diced onion until softened.
2. Add in the Italian sausage and brown on each side. Don’t smash up much – this makes large “meatball” chunks.
3. Add some of the red wine to deglaze the pan and scrape up all the browned bits.
4. Dump in the tomato paste, dry seasonings, and sugar.
5. Add the rest of the meat. Do NOT brown.
6. Pour in red wine until the meats are barely covered. Don’t worry about incorporating all the ingredients at this time. It looks a little disgusting with all the raw meat, but trust me. Put the lid on the pot, turn the heat down to low or med-low, and let it simmer about an hour. For 2 lbs of meat, I’d use roughly half the bottle. For 4+ lbs, I’d use all the bottle (except for a glass for ME lol.)
The alcohol will cook off, leaving a rich, delicious sauce that tastes as though it took hours and hours to make. If the sauce is a little thin, you can take the lid off and let it simmer another 1/2 hour or so to cook down a little. If it’s too thick, add more wine (or water if you drank it all).
We used to make it with a large can of crushed tomatoes and 1 8oz can of paste, but the kids prefer it with a smoother texture from tomato paste, and it does make a rich, delicious sauce.
Serve with your favorite pasta, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and some crusty rustic Italian bread.