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One-Pot Chunky Italian Meat Sauce

20 min

Prep Time

3 - 4 hrs

Cook time

8 - 10


This hearty, chunky meat sauce takes a little while to come together, but it is so worth the extra effort. This recipe makes a large amount of sauce, so be sure to use a 6-quart or larger Dutch oven.

You can enjoy immediately after cooking, but it tastes even better a day or two later when the flavors have had a chance to develop. This recipe also freezes well for later use.


  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 c. white mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 2 large stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 c. dry red wine, divided
  • 1¼ lb. ground beef, 85% lean
  • 1 lb. bulk sweet pork sausage
  • 1 lb. bulk spicy pork sausage
  • 2 28-oz. cans tomato puree
  • 1 28-oz. can petite-cut tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 6-oz. cans tomato paste
  • 1 T. Belle Donne dried oregano
  • 2 t. Belle Donne dried thyme
  • 2 t. Belle Donne dried rosemary
  • 2 T. white sugar
  • 3-4” Parmesan cheese rind
  • 2 Belle Donne whole bay leaves
  • Belle Donne sea salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms and cook until the onion softens and the mushrooms start to release liquids.
  2. Add celery, carrots and one-half cup wine and continue cooking, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add crumbled beef and sausage to the Dutch oven and cook until no longer pink inside. Remove from heat and drain excess fat from the pot.
  4. Return to burner and add tomato puree, petite-cut tomatoes, tomato paste, and remaining red wine, along with oregano, thyme, rosemary, and sugar. Stir to combine.
  5. Add the bay leaves and Parmesan rind. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine.
  6. Cover and simmer on low heat for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. If sauce is too thick, add a little water to achieve the desired consistency. If it is too thin, continue cooking until it reaches the thickness you prefer.
  7. Remove from heat and discard the bay leaves and Parmesan rind. Serve with your favorite cooked pasta and cheesy garlic bread. Refrigerate or freeze unused portion for later use.

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