Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Forgetta-bout-it! (apologies to all my Italian friends)

Who says you have to be a little old Italian lady slaving for hours in a hot kitchen to make a great spaghetti with meat sauce? You can make this dish even if you’re a middle-aged Greek goofball, like me. (Wait, I just now realized I’m middle-aged … I’ll deal with that later.) Anyway, I love this dish when I’m in the mood to make comfort food. It offers onion, garlic and red wine … the Holy Trinity of flavorful Italian cooking. I chose red wine for this dish because I was taught to do so in cooking school and it makes a lot of dishes special. For the crushed tomatoes you’ll want to use San Marzano, which is a low acidity, deep red tomato from Italy that is perfect for this dish.

Got a big crowd coming over? Spaghetti with meat sauce is easy to double and it’s one of my favorite dishes to provide a family when they have just had a baby (be sure to double it so they can have leftovers). You know that scene in Lady and the Tramp where the pups are slurping spaghetti and end up kissing? As far as I’m concerned, this is the recipe that inspired their puppy love. Also, spaghetti with meat sauce can be better the next day because all the flavors and spices come together and get married. That’s amore!

Watch the video (see ingredients and directions below)

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce


  • 1 pkg dried spaghetti
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c red wine
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes (we used San Marzano)

As always

  • Olive oil, about 1/4 c
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Optional (but highly recommended)

  • 1/4 c (or more!) Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, sliced into chiffonade

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then season generously with salt.
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  • Drain, return to pot and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium to high heat, brown the beef, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove beef from skillet with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Set aside.
  • In the same skillet used to brown the beef, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions and garlic and cook 3-5 minutes.
  • Add red wine, tomato paste and dried oregano; stir to dissolve tomato paste.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer, about 10 minutes.
  • Add crushed tomatoes and cooked ground beef; mix well.
  • Add cooked pasta to skillet and toss to coat.
  • Garnish with (optional, I mean, required) Parmesan and fresh basil before inhaling.

Deliciously simple. Enjoy!

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