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Basic Meat Sauce

Basic Meat Sauce

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Whenever I am craving a little meaty flavored tomato sauce but don’t have time to prepare my favorite Sunday Sauce or  Bolognese Style Meat Sauce , I use this quick, simple and very basic meat sauce recipe. I guess it’s basically like my simple san Marzano sauce but with little bits of chopped beef (you can use whatever ground meat you prefer).

Like my Bolognese meat sauce, I like to chop up the beef bits into smaller bites. Not only does this add deeper flavor to the sauce, it also helps tenderize the meat faster during the cooking process.  There is nothing worse than chopped meat that hasn’t had time to soften a bit in the sauce, at least for me.

With this sauce, I like to saute the ground meat first with a small diced shallot and some olive oil until cooked through. Then when the meat is cooked through, I usually do one of two things: 1. crumble the meat up using a meat chopper like the Mix n Chop from Pampered Chef or 2. Pulse it gently in the Food Processor or Vitamix.

If you like this Mix n Chop you can visit my personal Pampered Chef website to get one of your own. Just click this picture or the hyper link for more info.

I like both options but prefer to use my  Vitamix.  The only caution is do not over process the meat. The machine s so powerful that you should only pulse the meat once or twice, that’s it! Otherwise it will get very pasty and thick. Also, make sure there is enough liquid from the meat in the container. Try and resist the urge to drain the meat after you cook it because that’s where all the flavor is!  I sometimes add some of the pureed tomatoes if the ground meat looks dry.

Once the meat has been chopped up a bit saute a little olive oil and garlic in the pot and then add the pureed san Marzano tomatoes. Return the meat to the pot with the sauce and add a handful of fresh parsley. Season again with salt and pepper and let simmer on low for about 30-40 minutes. I like to add the fresh basil more towards the end for freshness of flavor but you can totally add it in the beginning too.

Once your sauce is cooked you can serve it with your favorite pasta or let it cool and save it for future use. This recipe goes perfect with my Lasagna Rolls or any of the TOP Blog recipes below.  


Basic Meat Sauce

A simple yet flavorful meat sauce made in under an hour.
Cuisine Italian


  • 2 28 oz cans of peeled san Marzano tomatoes pureed
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 2 cloves garlic cut in half
  • 1/2 lb chopped meat beef, pork, or whatever you prefer
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Handful Fresh Italian Parsley chopped
  • Bunch Freh Basil chopped or torn
  • S & P to taste


  • In a sauce pot, saute chopped meat and shallot with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Season with s&p to taste. Using a handheld meat chopper vitamix/food processor pulse or chop the meat to a fine consistency. Do not over process or meat will become paste. Just gently pulse once or twice to break it down.
  • Add remaining ollive oil, garlic slices and pureed tomatoes to the pot. If meat was processed in blender return to the pot at this time. Add freshly chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper. You can add basil now or towards the end of the cooking process for a fresher flavor. Bring the sauce to a slow simmer and cook on low for 40-45 minutes or until desired consistency and flavor has been reached.
  • Serve over pasta or let cool and store in refrigerator/freezer for future use. Do not store in refrigerator for more than 3 or 4 days.
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