I grew up in a household where it was unheard of to eat jarred pasta sauce. So much so that, when I was in college and mentioned to my mother that I’d bought a jar, she was appalled, as if I was expected to whip up a batch of fresh sauce in the shared dorm kitchen from ingredients I kept in my mini-fridge. Homemade sauce really is better.
Alex and I now make our own sauce more often then not and resort to the jarred stuff on only particularly lazy evenings. Alex always claims that his sauce is better than mine, but let’s face it…he’s just wrong. My mom has used this recipe for as long as I can remember and it’s perfect. She usually makes marinara with this or adds some meatballs, but pasta bolognese is basically Alex’s favorite food. The longer you let it sit on the stove to cook, the better it’ll be. If you’ve got the time then you may as well make a large batch and save some sauce for later. You’re gonna want more later.
makes enough for one pound of pasta
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
a handful of celery leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 carrot, finely diced or grated
1 large can tomato puree
1 can tomatoes, diced, chopped, or whole
2 cups water
In a large pot, brown the beef over medium heat. Drain the fat and set the ground beef aside. Add the olive oil to the same pan and saute the onion until it softens. Add the garlic and saute another 2-3 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and the ground beef to the pot and stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a simmer and let cook for 1-2 hours, adding more water when needed.