Two ingredients in the spice blend of this delicious, ground beef Easy Spaghetti Meat Sauce recipe makes it stand out from the rest and will have your guests asking for more.
This easy spaghetti meat sauce is loaded with fresh vegetables, ground beef, tomato sauce and spices. But so are almost all of the meat sauce recipes out there, so you might be wondering what’s so special about this recipe? Well I believe it’s a couple of the spices that I include when seasoning the sauce.
When adding the spices to my meat sauce, I include the usual oregano, basil and bay leaves, but I also include ground cumin and coriander (the dried seed of cilantro). These spices make the sauce super flavourful and (I think) make this sauce stand out from the rest. What I love about sauces like this one, is that after you’ve made the sauce once, you can adjust it to your liking by playing around with the spices, adding more or less or omitting one all together. Another ingredient that I add to this sauce, and I have to say I’m a little hesitant to admit this, is a ready-made organic tomato and basil pasta sauce instead of a plain tomato sauce or canned crushed tomatoes. I don’t know why it feels like I’m committing some kind of culinary infraction when I do this. But when I think about it, I don’t see much difference between using a really good quality tomato pasta sauce and using a can of plain tomato sauce which I will have to add more seasoning to anyways. I like to think of it as a practical short cut, like using ready-made broth instead of always making my own. However, when choosing your sauce, I would recommend keeping an eye out for amounts of sodium, it can vary greatly from one brand to another. But what’s great here, is that it’s completely up to you to use what you prefer, you will just have to add more seasoning if you go the plain route.
This meat sauce is loaded with fresh vegetables, but because I use a food processor to chop up the veggies, the prep work is quick. This recipe makes quite a bit of sauce, I like to make a large batch that I can then portion and freeze, it makes life easier on busy weeknights. But if you prefer a smaller batch you can easily cut this recipe in half. I rely on this easy meat sauce often when making pasta, I especially like to use it on spaghetti and in my lasagna. Enjoy!
Easy Spaghetti Meat Sauce
- 2-3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 3 cloves large garlic cloves
- 2 medium carrots
- 3 celery stalks
- 1 sweet pepper red or green
- 1 package fresh mushrooms 227g.
- 2 lbs. lean ground beef
- 2 jars of your favourite good quality pasta sauce or if you prefer you could use plain tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes with purée* 680 ml
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pinch of hot pepper flakes more to taste
- For serving: Pasta of your choice freshly grated Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh parsley or basil (optional)
- Wash vegetables and peel garlic, onions and carrots.
- Cut all vegetables into chunks that will fit into your food processor.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Start by adding the onion and garlic to the food processor, when vegetables are chopped to your liking add them to the saucepan and give them a quick stir.
Continue to process the rest of the vegetables and add them to the pan as you go. Stir and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Raise the heat to medium high and add the ground beef, sauté and break up the large chunks of meat. Cook until the ground beef is no longer pink, about 10 min.
- Add the tomato sauce and all the seasonings, reduce heat, stir and let simmer.
- After the sauce has simmered for approximately 30 min, taste and adjust the seasonings.
- Reduce heat to low, and let simmer for two to three hours, stirring occasionally and adding beef broth or water if too much liquid has evaporated.
- When ready to serve, taste sauce one more time and adjust seasonings if need be, remove bay leaves.
- Serve over pasta of your choice, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley (or basil) and freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional).
*Depending on what tomato sauce you use, whether it's a ready made store bought pasta sauce, crushed tomatoes, or plain tomato sauce you will have to adjust the seasonings to your liking, adding a little at a time and tasting often is the trick to a great tasting sauce!