A homemade meat sauce with spaghetti is a delicious and cozy weeknight meal to prepare. While this sauce is not a traditional Italian recipe, it’s packed with flavor and is easy enough to make any night of the week or special enough for the weekend. Swirl a serving on a plate and watch the family come running to devour this sauce!
In a 6-quart stock pot or saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the onion, bell pepper, salt, and black pepper. Sauté until the onion and pepper are softened and turning translucent, 4-6 minutes.
Add the minced garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, and red chili flakes. Cook for 30 seconds and add the ground beef. Cook and break the beef into small pieces until it is fully browned, 8-10 minutes. Once the beef is cooked, add the tomato paste. Stir the paste into the mixture and allow the paste the cook until it darkens and starts to coat the bottom of the pan, 6-8 minutes.
Once the paste has cooked, add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. To clean the containers out, use a small amount of water and pour it into the sauce. Stir and bring the sauce to a simmer. Once simmering, cover and cook for 18-20 minutes.
While the sauce is cooking, prepare the spaghetti according to the package directions to reach al dente stage.
When the pasta is al dente, turn the sauce to low heat and add the pasta directly to the sauce. Any residual water dripping off the pasta can be added to the sauce. Stir the pasta and sauce to combine and finish cooking the noodles for 2-3 minutes. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
When slicing the bell pepper, simply cut off the top and bottom, and make a single slice on one side. Open the pepper, lay it flat, and remove the inner pith and seeds. Slice it into planks and then dice. Rather than discarding the top and bottom, dice these up as well, removing the stem.
The cooking time when it comes to garlic is very important. Since garlic can have a raw flavor, it’s imperative that it’s cooked slightly to reduce the raw flavor. But make sure not to cook the garlic for too long, though, as garlic can burn quickly. About 30 seconds to one minute should be the right amount of time needed.
When purchasing ground beef for this recipe, look for a lean variety. Personally, I choose 92% lean beef so that there is a minimal amount of juice left in the stockpot.
When cooking the pasta for this recipe, do not drain the spaghetti once at al dente stage. Add them directly from the pasta water to the sauce. This allows the spaghetti to soak up some of the sauce, reaching the perfect stage when ready to serve. Additionally, if the sauce is too thick, some of the pasta water can be used to thin it down.