Jane’s Meat Sauce for Spaghetti

This is my mom’s meat sauce recipe. She used it for spaghetti, ravioli and for her amazing homemade fettuccine. It isn’t fancy and it certainly isn’t bolognese, but it is homey, comforting and simple. I hadn’t made it in forever, but our “cold” weather has been making me crave comfort food, so I cooked up a batch. This made enough for 2 adults to eat for dinner (and I think we each had seconds), with some leftovers (pictured) and some for the freezer. Yay! It’s so good. I don’t know why I don’t make homemade spaghetti sauce more often.

Jane’s Meat Sauce
1 tablespoon bacon fat
1 strip uncooked bacon
1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 smallish carrots, diced
2 cloved garlic, peeled and crushed/chopped
1 pound lean ground beef (I use 96/4 ground beef. Turkey works too, but is a tiny bit less yummy)
2 cans diced tomatoes (unseasoned)
dried oregano/basil/parsely or italian seasoning (about 1 tablespoon total, less if that is too strong)
salt & pepper (to taste)

  1. Use big saucepan or pot and cook the bacon in the bacon fat until delicious and crispy. Remove bacon slice from pan. (I know! So decadent! If you don’t store your bacon fat, and you should, use two pieces of bacon.)
  2. Add the onions to the the bacon fat and cook over medium low heat for 10-15 minutes until onions get translucent, stirring occasionally  No need to brown the onions.
  3. Add the garlic, carrots, celery and a dash of salt and cook for another 10 minutes.
  4. Turn up the heat a bit and add the ground beef. Cook until browned. Chop the bacon and add back to the pan.
  5. Add the tomatoes (undrained), and the herbs and spices.
  6. Stir and let simmer (probably on low depending on your stove) for 75-90 minutes until sauce is thick and dark. The texture of the sauce will be mostly meaty and not so much tomato-saucy. Check periodically and add some water if the sauce is looking too dry. I do about a quarter of a cup at a time, especially if I might be leaving it on the stove for awhile. You can’t overcook this sauce, but it can run dry.
  7. Serve over your favorite pasta/noodle/ravioli type thing. Delicious!

I know it takes a long time, but it’s worth it. Some of the prep can be done while the other stuff cooks which saves some time here and there. Put the bacon in, cut the onion. Put the onion in, cut the celery and carrot. And the hour or two on the stove just requires a stir now and again.


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6 Responses to “Jane’s Meat Sauce for Spaghetti”

  1. Anna says:

    That sounds delicious!


  2. Audrey says:

    I can’t stop staring at your noodles….they’re square!


    Amy Reply:

    It’s by Barilla – spaghetti rigati. http://www.barilla.com/content/product/spaghetti-rigati


  3. stevebethere says:

    That sounds and looks delicious next time I do Spaghetti Bolognese I will give your recipe a try

    Thanks for sharing ;-)


  4. Tracy @ The UnCoordinated Mommy says:

    You had me at bacon fat!

    Any recipe that starts with bacn fat gets an A+ this is definitely getting pinned!


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