Three Meat Sauce


2 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 lb mushrooms, cleaned, and sliced into 1/4 inch chunks
Pinch salt
1 1/2 oz prosciutto
1/2 lb ground Italian sausage, mild or hot (remove from casing if you use links)
1 1/2 lb beef chuck roast, cut into chunks
1 (29 oz) can Italian tomatoes (squish by hand), include juices
1 (29 oz) can tomato puree
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 t garlic powder
1/4 cup fresh basil, rinsed and torn
1 t dried basil
1 t dried parsley (or 1 T fresh)
1 t dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup red wine
Salt or more garlic to taste

The Spoon Mage™ Notes:

This is not Bolognese as that would never have fresh herbs. But it gives a nod to that terrific sauce.

As usual, the seasoning amounts indicated are the minimum (I admit to using quite a bit more garlic).  The use of both fresh garlic cloves and dried garlic as well as dried and fresh basil lets each contribute a unique element to the pot. The dried and fresh flavors work in perfect harmony for this sauce.

I often like to combine fresh and dried seasonings. Each brings a unique flavor and texture to the sauce.

How much seasoning depends upon the type of tomatoes you use. Fresh, Hunts, San Marzano, they all have different flavors. Taste as you go.


Heat the oil until it shimmers in a large sauce pan set over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Sauté until the onions and mushrooms are well browned.

Add the prosciutto, sausage, and prepped chuck roast. Reduce heat to medium low and stir every now and then until the meat is browned and well cooked. If there is an excess of fat pour a little off. Anything under 1/4 cup of liquid in the pan is just fine. No need to measure, just guess. This sauce needs a little fat so don’t drain it all.

Add the tomatoes, puree, garlics, basils, parsley, oregano, bay leaf, and red wine. Cook slowly for 2-3 hours over low heat with a lid placed so as to vent the steam. Stir frequently. Taste after 2 hours and adjust seasonings to suit your taste. While the pasta water is heating up, that’s a great time to simmer the sauce uncovered so it thickens a tad.

Serve over a hearty pasta such as penne, rigatoni, or pappardelle.

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