This is a hearty sauce you can serve over just about any pasta (I prefer something with nooks and crannies), but what really makes it easy is how effortless it is to make. It takes 15 minutes to prep and about an hour in total to cook, yet your “guests” will think it simmered all afternoon like Grandma’s Sunday gravy!
Ingredients: Easily feeds 4-6
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 pint baby bella mushrooms, rinsed (chopped if desired)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 1/2 pounds ground meatloaf mix (pork/veal/beef)
- kosher salt and pepper
- 32 oz jar of your favorite marinara sauce (I use Lidia’s)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flake
- 1/2 cup light cream
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 lb cooked pasta
- In a large dutch oven heat oil over medium heat and add onions and mushrooms. Sauté until soft and onions begin to caramelize. Add garlic and continue to cook, stirring occasionally taking care not to let garlic burn.
- Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, brown the meat. Season with kosher salt and pepper while cooking.
- Using a slotted spoon to drain the fat, transfer browned meat to the dutch oven with the mushrooms, onions and garlic. Mix to combine.
- Pour jar of sauce over the mixture. Add the oregano and red pepper flake. Stir and allow sauce to come to a gentle boil.
- Reduce heat to simmer, and cook an additional 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the parmesan cheese and light cream to the sauce and stir to combine.
- Drain 1 lb of cooked pasta and place in a large serving or family style pasta bowl. Top with enough sauce to toss and coat the pasta. Sprinkle with additional parmesan and red pepper flake if desired. Serve extra sauce on the side.
Of course, leaving out the mushrooms is completely acceptable if mushrooms aren’t your thing! But if you’re feeling adventurous, don’t pass on them because they add texture and flavor and really take this sauce to the next level! Go for it!!