Everyone who knows me in real life knows I love anything that's related to spaghetti. In fact, I've made a whole bunch of spaghetti recipes on this blog, some of them sauces, that I like to make large batches of that I freeze as a make-ahead meal. Just freeze the portioned sauce and thaw it in the microwave for a quick, homemade meal. I even like to bottle some of the sauces and give them to my brother and co workers. From Pasta Bolognese, to Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce, to Spaghetti al Amatriciana. I love all my spaghetti recipes. Despite all the spaghetti recipes I have on here, though, I actually don't have a spaghetti sauce recipe. What a shame. My mother-in-law actually makes a kick a$$ spaghetti sauce, but she hasn't quite given me the recipe for it yet. So I decided to do a search on Pinterest for my own spaghetti sauce recipe and this one from The Pioneer Woman (one of my faves) has come up quite frequently on Pinterest. This sauce is quite comparable to mother-in-law's. It makes a huge batch of meaty goodness. Perfect to freeze as a make-ahead-meal.
5 lbs. ground beef
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large onions, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (14 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 jar of store-bought marinara sauce (I used my marinara sauce)
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
4 bay leaves
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
8 basil leaves, chopped (or more if you like basil)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, more for garnish
1) In a large pot over medium heat, add ground beef and cook until browned. Remove meat from the pot and set aside. Discard grease and add olive oil.
2) Once oil is heated, add onions and cook for about a minute. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute or so.
3) Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and marinara sauce. Stir to combine. Then add sugar, salt, oregano, thyme, crushed red pepper (if using), and bay leaves. Stir in cooked ground beef. Cover and allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add water or beef broth if it needs more liquid.
4) After 1 hour, stir in parsley, basil and Parmesan cheese. Cover and simmer for another 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Serve over your favorite pasta or spaghetti. Freeze unused sauce for up to 6 months.