spaghetti with meat and mushroom sauce

Stevarino’s Pasta Sauce

Pasta sauce is so fundamental to Italian fare; dishes like rigatoni, ziti, penne, manicotti, lasagna and, of course, spaghetti, that it should be classified a recipe essential. The sauce is unique to every individual who makes it on a regular basis. Here is mine.


Stevarino's Pasta Sauce

  • Servings: 4 to 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2 lbs ground round
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 12 ozs stewed Roma tomatoes, crushed
  • 24 ozs tomato sauce (Prego ® Traditional Italian Sauce is recommended)
  • 8 ozs fresh mushrooms, sliced (canned may be used)
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ tsp chicken or beef base
  • ½ C of dry red wine, preferrably Chianti (optional)
  • 2 bay leafs


  1. In a large saucepan, add ground round, sprinkle with salt and fry on medium-high heat while frequently stirring until all meat has browned.

  2. Remove the meat to a colander and allow excess fat to drain.

  3. Pour the olive oil into the saucepan, add the onions and garlic, then sauté over medium heat until onions are translucent.

  4. Stir the browned ground round into the mixture.

  5. Stir in tomato paste, and beef or chicken base.

  6. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, red wine, mushrooms, red pepper, basil, oregano, thyme, bay leaf and garlic salt.

  7. Increase heat and allow to boil until frothy then lower heat to medium-low.

  8. Simmer on low heat for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, partially covered, stirring every now and then.

  9. Discard bay leaf.

Use what you need and refrigerate or freeze the rest!

NOTE: I add a bay leaf or two to many of my sauces, soups and stews, as the leaf is of the laurel family which is a symbol of good luck and of victory in ancient Grecian and Roman times.


Steve D

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