Italian-Style Meat Sauce

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I’ve beefed up (pun intended!) my marinara recipe into a sort of Americanized version of ragù alla Bolognese. Can’t technically call this Bolognese, as it is lacking the requisite soffritto base, but like that classic Italian dish, this hearty meat sauce is perfect to partner with short pasta noodles or as part of the filling for lasagna and other pasta bakes. If you’re looking for a more traditional version, check out my mom’s recipe.

INGREDIENTS
1 pound 90% lean ground beef
1 medium (6-ounce) onion, chopped
3 tablespoons minced fresh garlic (about 9 cloves)
7 cups crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 ounce (1/2 bunch) fresh parsley

TOOLS
large (12-inch) sauté pan [deep skillet], with lid
cooking spoon
measuring cups and spoons
cutting board
chef’s knife

METHOD
1. Combine beef, onion, and garlic in pan over medium-high heat. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until beef is no longer pink – about 6 minutes. Drain grease.
2. Add tomatoes, salt, oregano, and pepper. Stir well, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 50 minutes.
3. Chop parsley and add to sauce. Stir well.

NOTES & TIPS
• Two 28-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes yield 7 cups.
• Use 90% lean ground beef to reduce the chance of grease puddles breaking the finished sauce. Ground turkey or crumbled sweet Italian sausage are also good substitutes.
• No fresh garlic? Use 1 tablespoon garlic powder.
• No fresh parsley? Use fresh basil, or substitute with 1 tablespoon dried parsley (or dried basil).
• This recipe is a great way to use up leftover fresh – or even mealy – tomatoes. Just chop ‘em up and throw ‘em in!
• This recipe makes a lot, but is great for small families or singles too, as it freezes well. Freeze in small batches – 2 cups or less – for quicker thawing later.

READY IN
1 hour

YIELD
2 1/2 quarts (twenty 1/2 cup servings)

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