Go-To Pasta Meat Sauce

This is the recipe for my Go-To Pasta Meat Sauce that I seriously make almost every week.  Without fail.  My family loves it.  It makes plenty for dinner and next day lunches too.  And the kids have no idea how many veggies they are eating.  Seriously, no idea.  



  • 1 lb. ground beef or Italian sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 box of your favorite pasta
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • Red peppers flakes (to taste)
  • Red wine for deglazing the pan
  • Parmesan cheese

Other possible additions:

  • Chopped zucchini
  • Chopped fresh spinach
  • Chopped red peppers
  • Canned pumpkin Seriously, you can’t taste it at all and it adds lots of vitamins and fiber.  And gets that can out of the fridge that you had to use half of for another recipe.


  1. Put on a Daniel Tiger episode for the kids.  Choose their sermon.  Today you need to hear about sharing…
  2. Open red wine and pour taster glass.  You have to make sure the bottle is good before using it in a recipe.  Seriously.  Really this might be step one depending on the work day…
  3. Put on your favorite Pandora mix.  I recommend “A Dinner Party Ambience Radio” or “Indie Singer-Songwriters Radio.”
  4. Put on a big pot of water to boil for the pasta.
  5. Brown meat.
  6. While meat is cooking, chop onion and carrots.
  7. Once meat is browned, drain if there is a pourable amount of fat.
  8. Add onions and carrots and cook about 5 minutes (until onions are tender)
  9. While onions and carrots are cooking, chop anything else you will be adding and get it ready.  Tonight I added zucchini so here is where I chopped that.
  10. Add the zucchini or any other fresh veggies.
  11. While the additions are cooking, add the Italian Seasoning, red pepper flakes, and garlic.
  12. If at any time the bottom of the pans starts to get crusty technical term deglaze the pan with a glug of wine.  Once the wine is in, scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the good stuff off flavor off the bottom.
  13. Add in any other additions.  Tonight I added canned pumpkin since I had still had one can leftover in the pantry from all the pumpkin recipes I was making in the fall.
  14. Cook until the carrots are tender.
  15. Add the pasta sauce and turn heat down to low to simmer.
  16. Depending on how long it is going to take Beast to get home, I’ll sometimes simmer the sauce stirring it occasionally for 15-30 minutes or just go straight to serving.  You can be flexible.  
  17. Once I have “Find iPhone” stalked Beast and determined he is 10 minutes from home, I drop the pasta and cook according to the directions on the box.  
  18. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the pot of sauce.  I have toddlers so we use a lot of penne or other small pastas that they can more easily eat than spaghetti.
  19. Stir to get sauce in every nook and cranny.
  20. Top with parmesan cheese or “sprinkle cheese” as it is known in my house and serve.
  21. Watch your children eat carrots, spinach and other goodness they have no idea about.  Evil cackle quietly to yourself.

So there you have it.  This is not anything fancy but it goes over really well with my family and tastes great for lunch the next day.  It is also really flexible and you can make it different depending on what you have on hand.

Hope it works for you too!

2 thoughts on “Go-To Pasta Meat Sauce

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