Homemade Meat Sauce for Lasagna or Spaghetti

Recently, one of my very best friends had her first little tiny baby! And since new parents are super busy being new parents, I cooked a bunch of food for them and stuck it in the freezer. I’m sure the last thing they want to do is cook dinner.

I made them some chili, whole wheat banana bread, gumbo (recipe to come later), broccoli cheese soup, and lasagna.


I don’t, nor have I ever, claimed to be a legit old Italian lady. But, I do think this spaghetti/lasagna meat sauce is pretty delish. It takes a while, but it’s totally worth it. It goes a little something like this:


  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5-6 cloves of minced garlic
  • 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
  • 12 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
  • 12 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 2-3 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 c. red wine
  • 1 Tbs. oregano
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. torn fresh basil leaves
  •  salt

1. Add the olive oil to a big pot, heated to medium heat.

2. Remove the sausages from the casings and brown.

3. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add to the sausage and cook down for about 10 minutes.

4. Add the wine, the tomatoes, tomato paste, seasonings, sugar, and basil.

5. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cook on low for about 2 hours.

You can use this sauce for spaghetti or lasagna, or whatever your little heart desires.

If you’re going the lasagna route, don’t forget your ricotta!

Very important: Don’t forget to season your ricotta!!

To the ricotta, I always add about:

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. garlic powder

tsp. red pepper flakes

salt and pepper

(Sometimes, if I have leftover roasted garlic, I’ll mash that up and add it to the ricotta for a roasted garlic lasagna. Um, yes, please.)

Layer sauce, noodles, ricotta, and shredded mozzarella in a baking dish.

Bake at 350º  for about 1 hour, or until cheese is brown and bubbly on top.

I’m also a HUGE fan of no-boil lasagna noodles. Boiling regular lasagna noodles without them sticking together or burning your hands is practically an act of congress.

Serve with garlic bread and/or a green salad.

You can make a bunch of this sauce and freeze it in smaller portions for later! You can even pre-make the lasagna and freeze it as a whole. Make sure to defrost it before baking.


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