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How to Make a Simple Meat Sauce

Rated as 5 out of 5 Stars

"This super-easy braised beef pasta sauce is similar to regular ground meat sauces, but instead of ground beef, it uses freshly cubed beef as the base. The advantages are obvious and quite delicious. Using this method, you get to choose the cut you like; I used top round, but rump roast or chuck steak would be just as good. You can also control the fat content."
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1 h 10 m servings 532
Original recipe yields 6 servings


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  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook beef, stirring often, until well browned, about 15 minutes. Stir garlic and green onions into the beef. Cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Pour beef broth into skillet and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet.
  2. Pour in milk, bring to a simmer, and stir pasta sauce into beef mixture. Simmer until beef pieces are tender, about 40 minutes. If mixture is too thick, add a little water. Season with salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and Italian herbs.
  3. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Stir in penne and return to a boil. Cook pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but still firm to the bite, about 11 minutes; drain. Pour penne into sauce and toss lightly to coat. Transfer into a serving bowl and serve topped with a sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 532 calories; 14.7 72.1 28.6 45 644 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 6
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Simple and delicious! I did use ground beef b/c that's what my family likes, but kept the recipe the same, otherwise. Great flavors and textures... The family LOVED this sauce, which makes it a ...

This turned out really great. I made it for my room mate and myself and we both really liked it. I made a couple changes though. I added 1/2 Lb of spicy Italian sausage, a bay leaf, and some dic...

Well done, Chef John... this recipe was so unique from the usual spaghetti sauce I've done. I wasn't sure about milk in the ingredients but wow, the end result was 5 star yum! Everyone raved and...

So good, making again tonight. it's definitely a winner when you can't wait to take another bite!

Made this tonight, very good! Super easy, and it was ready in under an hour. Kids had it with pasta me & hubby had it with spaghetti squash, fantastic with both. Thank you for sharing, will be a...

My family loved this recipe! My teenage nephew even said it was "incredible" (and we all know how hard they are to please). Will make a again!