One Pot Ragu

One of my favorite “go to” meals has always been spaghetti and meatballs.  It’s a real comfort food that is easy to make for a large family or group of friends.  I’ve tried many, many recipes over the years, and I’ve finally created my One Pot Ragu that is not only a time-saver but a flavorfull sauce that can be made and used with any macaroni.  It freezes great, and it can be easily tweeked to make it spicier, healthier, etc.

I don’t measure.  I guess-timate how much and go by taste.  These are the basic ingredients I use to make this hearty, yummy sauce.

  • 1 package Johnsonville Hot Italian Sausage (Johnsonville is the only brand I like, but you can use Sweet or Mild, if you prefer, or even turkey or chicken sausage)
  • 1lb 80/20 ground meat (can subsitute turkey or chicken, but the fat content adds flavor, I think)
  • Large can of whole tomatoes (I prefer Contadina for all my canned sauces and tomatoes)
  • Large can of crushed tomatoes
  • 16 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 2 small cans of tomato paste
  • red or white “drinking” wine
  • A few tablespoons of sugar or Stevia
  • salt, pepper, basil (good palmful), and oregano
  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic grated with a cheese grater
  • large onion chopped/diced
  • tablespoon of olive oil (a little more if using turkey or chicken to add fat)

Simply heat the olive oil in a large pot.  Add the onion, garlic, oregano, basil, salt & pepper and cook for a few minutes.  Add the ground meat and sausage (squeeze the sausage out of the casings into the pot and throw away the casings).  Cook until the meat is browned.  Splash some wine over the meat mixtures and cook down for about five minutes.  Add sugar and stir.  Add the canned tomatoes, sauce, and paste and stir.  Bring to a boil.  Stir.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cover.  Cook and stir occasionally for at least an hour, but I like to simmer it for a few hours.  You can add water if it’s too thick, and you can add parmesan cheese if it’s not thick enough.

This sauce can be used as a base for stuffed shells or over manicotti or to layer lasagne.  I make this at least once a week for my hubby who loves it over spaghetti.  I like it best over ravioli.  However you use it, I hope you enjoy it!

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