Authentic Italian Recipe – Meat Sauce for Spaghetti

Authentic Italian Recipe – Meat Sauce for Spaghetti

My mother learned to make this authentic Italian recipe when we were living in Italy. The recipe has been perfected over the years. Since the sauce is heavy it is perfect for the winter months.

1 pound hamburger or sausage (you can use more or less, adjust the other ingredients)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 medium onion chopped
1 28 oz (794g) can whole tomatoes
1 10 ¾ oz (305g) can tomato puree
1 6 oz (170g) can tomato paste
1 carrot chopped
2 sticks of celery chopped
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
1 teaspoon chopped basil
½ cup red wine (optional)

Brown the hamburger or sausage in olive oil, stirring frequently to prevent the meat from cooking in lumps. When the hamburger is cooked through add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Cook until the onion, garlic, carrot and celery are soft when pierced with a fork. Add the whole tomatoes, tomato puree, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Add red wine (optional). Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and cook for another 30 minutes until the sauce is the thickness you prefer. Remove from heat. Add basil and stir. Let the sauce sit for a few minutes so basil can soften.

This spaghetti sauce should be served over spaghetti or a thicker pasta (not a thin pasta like angel hair pasta).

This meat sauce for spaghetti freezes well and can be re-heated in the microwave.

Don’t forget to use a spaghetti server to dish out your pasta. Using a spaghetti server eliminates the need to dump the spaghetti in a strainer or worse having to try to pour the water out of the spaghetti pot without losing all your spaghetti down the sink.


  • I am crazy about Italian food. Since Denver CO seems to be losing several Italian restaurants I have been trying to duplicate the dishes at home. This looks like a great recipe that I can use with my fresh tomatoes from the garden even now in summer. Plus the aroma must be terrific.

  • Karen says:

    Sounds great . . . will definitely try your recipe.

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