Search for a recipe for homemade meat sauce and you'll likely get a seemingly endless list of choices. Why is it I suggest that this newly created meat sauce recipe is the best you'll ever taste? (And I'm not even Italian! :D) Because it is cram-packed with ingredients sourced from local farmers, gardeners, and grocers. I truly feel that since I bought the highest quality, each outstanding flavor melds into the other to make the whole dish sing.
La La La!!
The price point makes for a happy dance too. Don't you just love it when you can say taste, nutrition, and affordability in the same breath?
Let's get to some nutrition first before your mouth really begins watering. Though if you want to jump over this section to head to the recipe itself, I won't tell anyone!
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - get the best! So many brands to choose from so do your research. High quality EVOO offers anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and other brain, digestive, and heart health benefits.
- Grass-fed, hormone-free local Piedmontese ground beef - outstanding protein, vitamin B-12, vitamin B-3, and omega-3's which all equals supporting brain function, cardiovascular health, and bone strength. I buy Messinger Meats found at the Italian Centre Shop.
- Tomatoes - both from passata strained tomatoes (99% raw tomato puree found in the glass containers of the Mutti brand from Italian Centre Shop), and fresh greenhouse tomatoes (it's winter as I write this), you'll get plenty of vitamins, and minerals to strengthen immunity, offer health-protective benefits, and antioxidants.
- Garlic Scapes and Shallots - this winning team provides more antioxidants, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial strength than its onion and garlic cousins (though onion and garlic are still great!). The flavor really is unique so if you can find them, please consider using them in the recipe. It's partly what makes for outstanding taste. As a farmer's market supporter, I purchase both from Peas On Earth at the Old Strathcona Farmer's Market.
- Fresh Basil - culinary dishes are transformed by the addition of this fantastic anti-bacterial, and vitamin/mineral herb. Don't be shy in adding more or less to taste. My favorite is from Morinville Greenhouses / West Country Herbs that you can find at either the Italian Centre Shop or Old Strathcona Farmer's Market.
- Italian Seasoning - dry seasonings such as this blend still provide a trace amount of nutrition with good flavor. I really like the Canadian company called Splendor Garden organic herbs and spices. I purchase this blend among others at the Italian Centre Shop.
- Fresh Cracked Pepper and Himalayan Salt - these two round out the taste. I do not promote highly salted foods but with the addition of a pinch or two it can contain small amounts of calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium. It also contains slightly lower amounts of sodium than regular table salt. Freshly cracked pepper gives the meat sauce a bit of punch. Adjust to taste of course.
I used to buy prepared meat sauce. Depending of course on the brand it could taste pretty good. But if you can make your own it's well worth the small effort. Seriously, if you have about 30 minutes, you can create this tasty dish for you and three other people. Spoon it over traditional pasta or spaghetti squash. Both are equally good.
- 1 pound Piedmontese ground beef, grass-fed, hormone-free
- 2 tbsp EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
- ¼ cup chopped shallots
- 2 tbsp chopped garlic scapes
- 1½ cups raw tomato puree / strained tomatoes (passata)
- 10 fresh cherry tomatoes, sliced in quarters
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- ⅓ to ½ cup chopped fresh basil
- Pepper, freshly cracked, to taste
- ¼ to ½ tsp Himalayan salt, to taste
- In a large frying pan, heat EVOO over low-medium heat.
- Add ground beef and cook just until there is no more pink, stirring frequently.
- Scoop out ground beef into a small container (keep warm if possible), reserving juice.
- In reserved juice/fat, add shallots and garlic scapes. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly.
- Add the ground beef back into large frying pan. Stir to combine.
- Add the passata, Italian seasoning, pepper, and salt. Stir to combine and cook for an additional 5 minutes to blend flavors, stirring frequently.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes to heat, stirring frequently.
- Finally stir in the fresh basil and cook for only 1 more minute. Take immediately off heat and serve.