First of all, let me just say that I’m not Italian.  This is not an authentic, Italian recipe.  This is just my go-to, all purpose meat sauce.  I use it for lasagna, spaghetti, baked ziti, etc.  It makes a pretty good amount, so I usually get two meals out of one batch.  You can use half tonight and freeze the other half for next week or for an emergency or for when you just can’t even.


  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 lb. ground chuck I like 80/20 because it has more flavor
  • 1 lb. ground Italian sausage mild or sweet
  • 1/3 cup red wine something good, so you'll enjoy the rest of the bottle with dinner!
  • 1/2 handful fennel seeds
  • 28 oz. canned, fire roasted tomatos
  • 28 oz. tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh oregano chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook onion in olive oil to soften, about 5 minutes. 

  2. Add ground chuck and Italian sausage and cook until very brown.  If you need to, drain the grease from the meat and onions. 

  3. Add garlic, fennel, salt and pepper and cook about 1 minute longer. 

  4. Add wine and cook until liquid has reduced by half. 

  5. Add canned tomatoes and cook until most of the liquid is gone. 

  6. Add tomato sauce, oregano and thyme.  Check seasonings and simmer for at least a half-hour,  a whole hour if you have the time.

Kim Mayo