Great Sunday Night Supper: Ragu Or Meat Sauce For Spaghetti

This cookbook had me at the cover…..a warm bowl of macaroni and cheese with cheesy crust…..this to me is the definition of comfort food.  Pictures are lacking but the recipes are ones that would make you proud to have in your collection…..Great Roast Chicken….Chicken Potpie with Phyllo Crust…..and what I decided to make was the Ragu or Meat Sauce for Spaghetti.  This is very similar to the Rachel Ray Bolognese sauce that I make a couple of times a year.

In preparing the sauce I used my favorite shortcut.  I bought what my grocery store calls “soup starter”.  This is a combination of carrots, celery and onions.  I had used half earlier in the week for my chicken meatball tortellini soup and used the rest up with my ragu sauce.  I love this tip as it saves me time from having to chop everything and it saves me money as I can never seem to use the celery up before it turns all rubbery and gross.

We all ate the sauce…..except for the youngest one…..are you beginning to see a theme here?  Don’t use my youngest son as a good litmus test for most people.  But if you have a fussy kid who doesn’t like ground meat, then he would be a good barometer.  This for me will go under the file “Sunday Suppers” as I can imagine a pot of this simmering on the stove and my family gathering around making a big salad and slicing a loaf of french bread.  We all will enjoy our big bowl of comfort food……skip the sauce and just give the youngest boy noodles on his plate please!

Ragu Or Meat Sauce For Spaghetti, page 112


  • 1/2 cup minced carrots
  • 3/4 pound onions, minced
  • 2 thin slices pancetta, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound beef ground from a lean cut, like sirloin roast
  • 1/2 cup full-bodied dry red wine
  • one 25 ounce can Italian plum tomatoes with basil
  • one 6 ounce can no-salt added tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked


  1. Saute the carrots, onions, and pancetta int he hot oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium-high heat until the ingredients begin to take on color.  Add the garlic and saute for 30 second; remove the carrot mixture and set aside.
  2. Brown the meat in the same pan over medium-high heat, stirring almost constantly to break the meat up into little pieces so it won’t clump together.
  3.  When the meat is brown, add the wine and cook quickly until it is almost evaporated.  Return the vegetable to the pan.  Add the tomatoes and juices, breaking up the tomatoes with your fingers before adding them to the pan.  Stir in the tomato paste and season with the salt and pepper.  Reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for at least 1 hour; 2 hours is better.  Adjust the seasoning.
  4. Serve over spaghetti.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found here.  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at