Super-Quick Meat Sauce Over Pasta

spaghetti and meat sauceWhen it comes to tomato sauce, I have multiple versions. If I have a lot of time on my hands (which admittedly isn't often), then I'll make my Italian grandmother's traditional spaghetti sauce with meatballs. But if I'm pressed for time, this simple meat sauce is my go-to recipe:

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Simple Meat Sauce

  • 1/2 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 handful fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Splash of red wine (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In large pan, brown ground meat. Remove from pan and set aside. Drizzle olive oil in bottom of pan. Add basil, garlic, and red pepper flakes, and allow to fry in oil about 30 seconds -- be careful not to burn. Add tomatoes and break up tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Add browned meat, sugar, and red wine, if using. Bring to boil, then let simmer about 20 minutes while you cook and drain pasta. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

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