Growing up in an Italian household…we ate a lot of pasta. One of my favorite childhood memories is when my mom would pick us up from school we would know if we were having pasta because the car would smell like garlic! She would carry that scent with her! Ha Ha! Not sure if that’s good or bad if she was running around town but we always loved it and thought it was funny.

This recipe for meat sauce was a staple in our house. Not only is it super easy to make but it makes a lot of sauce AND it freezes really well.

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JoJo’s Meat Sauce


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine; optional
  • 1- 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1- 14 oz can beef broth
  • 1- 24 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 small handful of sugar, about 1/4 cup
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil for topping


  • Add the olive oil in a large pot over medium/high heat.
  • Add in the onions with a sprinkle of salt and cook for a few minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic and cool for about a minute being careful not to brown the garlic.
  • Add in the ground beef and cook until the meet is just cooked through, season with salt and pepper.
  • Drain excess fat if there is a lot in the pan.
  • Stir in the wine and allow the alcohol to cook off for a few minutes.
  • Stir in the dried herbs and the tomato paste. Cook for a few minutes to cook out the raw flavor of the tomato paste.
  • Pour in the beef broth and crushed tomatoes.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and stir in the fresh parsley. Add additional seasonings as needed.
  • Simmer for 2-3 hours stirring every so often.
Author: Maria Provenzano