We had a big pasta dinner with Nate's siblings tonight. Nate and I were in charge of bringing the meat sauce. I got so spoiled and Nate volunteered to do all the work. I picked out a recipe for him to make and gave him a few pointers. I have to say, Nate did a fantastic job. The sauce was really really good. This recipe makes a ton, so even after feeding 8 people, I still have enough to freeze for another meal. We used a recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe and suited it to our tastes. Great work Nate!
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups onion, chopped and divided
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. Italian sausage (we used mild)
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 12 oz. can tomato paste
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 teaspoons dried oregano
3 teaspoons dried basil
2 14-oz. can Italian-style diced tomatoes
2 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups beef broth
2 bay leaves
Cook and crumble Italian sausage, and drain any fat. Set aside. Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add 1/2 of the onions and saute until translucent and slightly browned. Add garlic and stir constantly for 1 minute. Add beef and cook until no red is showing. Drain beef slightly. Add sausage. Blend up the remaining onions in a blender or food processor until mostly smooth. Add mixture to the garlic, onions and beef and stir to combine, cooking for another minute. Add tomato paste and spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring until combined. Add tomatoes and beef broth. Stir until combined and add the bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. The sauce will seem watery at first but will reduce to perfection after simmering for an hour. After simmering we put the sauce in the crock pot and kept it on low all day. Serve over hot cooked pasta. Enjoy!