Red Sauce with Meats

This delicious red sauce cooks quickly and deliciously. The meatballs or sausage poach in the sauce, adding to the sauce as well as absorbing flavor from it.

Red Sauce with Meats

Thank God that Marco Polo had the foresight to bring some noodles back to Europe when he travelled the Silk Road. The Italians took those noodles and have done some wonderful things with them. Not that Asian noodles aren’t great. They are.

But, pasta.

Doesn’t that sound lovely?

I really can’t go wrong cooking pasta around here. The Best Lasagna Ever. Macaroni and Cheese that will “transform your life” — and your waistline. Chicken and Bowties. We’ve been blessed to have found some killer pasta recipes over the years.

One recipe that we love is this red sauce. It is simple and delicious. It freezes well and complements meat dishes beautifully. A friend shared this version with me years ago, and I’ve tweaked it to fit our family, namely making a ginormous pot of it.

Red Sauce with Meats

One of the secrets to its rich flavor is cooking the sausages or meatballs in the sauce for several hours. But, Rachael Ray taught me a great shortcut: stir in beef broth if you don’t have the time for that. Works in a pinch.

I’ve also cooked this sauce for less time, knowing I was going to freeze it and reheat later. It’s delicious and goes great in lasagna.

Updated from original recipe published March 5, 2009.

What’s a favorite pasta dish in your family? Share it with us so it can become our favorite, too.

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  1. CountryMama@The Cozy Country Home says:

    Hee..hee…I use the same Rachel Ray tip…the beef broth. Works every time…tastes like it’s been simmering all day!! (I of course say, Oh, sure it has!!)

  2. Katie @ goodLife {eats} says:

    I love this recipe for Alfredo Sauce because it is so silky smooth. I use half and half for lower fat, but still fabuslous taste.

  3. Snow White says:

    your chicken and bowties looks excellent!

  4. Kristen says:

    I don’t know if it’s my computer or what, but I can’t find Mr. Linky on your post. Here is a link to one of the best pasta dishes I have made in a long time:

  5. Hoosier Homemade says:

    Thanks for offering the Ultimate Recipe Swap!

  6. Heather says:

    Got in this late this week — I think my recipe is a lot like yours. Received my coupons in the mail today — thank you! Have a great weekend — it is 60 degrees and sunny here — yeah — we can play outside!

  7. OK. I’m going to try to do this from memory (scary). And I’m one of those cooks who rarely measures. Just put however much you like! This is Lemon Tuna Pasta. YUM!!!!! Cook angel hair pasta. While it cooks make your “salsa cruda”: olive oil, tuna, capers, fresh parsley, kalamata olives, marinated artichoke hearts,lemon zest and lemon juice (1 lemon).For extra lemony flavor, use the lemon flavored tuna pouches. This is perfect for summer, because you can make it in the morning and not have to heat up the kitchen in the afternoon.

  8. FishMama says:

    Thanks for all your great recipes!

  9. Your pasta recipe sounds delicious, I was just looking for a pasta sauce recipe.

    One of my family favorite recipes is Vegetable Casserole and it is so versatile. You can easily adjust the amounts according to your pan size or how much you want to make. This is just a basic idea

    Brown 1 lb hamburger with 1/2 onion and a pinch of salt and pepper

    Peel and cut 6 large potatoes

    3 Family Size cans of Campbells Vegetable Soup

    1/2 pound American Cheese – Shredded (or the cheese of your choice)

    Spray 13×9 inch pan with cooking spray

    Put the potatoes on the bottom, add hamburger, add 1/3 cheese and enough soup to cover that layer

    Make additional 1 or 2 layers and cover with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours until the potatoes are tender. If you want you can sprinkle some additional cheese on the top right before taking this out of the oven

    This recipe was passed on to me from a friend of my mom’s. She was a wife of farmer and made all kinds of wonderful recipes but never had exact measurements.

    She also said if you want more vegetables you can add what you have. In the summer she would make this and add fresh veges from her garden – like green beans or zuchini

    She said you can also omit the hamburger if you don’t eat it

  10. FishMama ~ How do you store 5 dinners worth of pasta sauce when this is done? Freezer?
    Thanks, Jen

  11. I just would like to verify that you add 6 – 28oz cans of water

  12. Hi! I just found your blog recently and have been enjoying reading it. Thanks for all the tips! I made your red sauce with meat, and was wondering how you freeze it or store it? Obviously, it makes ALOT, so I want a good way to preserve it. Thanks for your help!

  13. Do you crumble, brown and drain the Italian sausage before adding it to the sauce?

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      No, I leave the sausage whole in the links that they come in. Just drop them in the sauce and let it cook for several hours. It makes the sauce taste amazing.

  14. Really? The raw sausages fully cook in a simmering pot?

  15. How many cups of red sauce with sausage do you use for your Best Lasagna Ever recipe? Thanks! I can’t wait to get cooking!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      I follow the recipe from Wondertime. I think it says three cups sauce. Then I add one pound of beef, like the recipe suggests.

  16. Stephanie says:

    Another question about the sausage – What do you do with it when you are done simmering the sauce? Do you just discard them? Are they just to flavor the sauce? I wanted to try this for my pizza sauce. Thanks!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      @Stephanie, no, don’t discard them. They’re delicious. You can package them separately with a little sauce. Reheat on the stove, in the oven, or on the grill and serve with pasta and more sauce.

  17. Can this be made in a crock pot?

  18. Hi there

    Would it be safe to cut this recipe in half?

  19. I made this for the first time this week. I usually just wing it when making spaghetti sauce, but I’m teaching my kids to cook and needed a recipe for them to be able to reference. We had to change a bit for what we had on hand, but it turned out great. We made 2 crockpots of it- one with meatballs for eating with spaghetti this week, and the other to freeze for later recipes.

  20. This sounds yummy, and I love the idea of freezing in jars for gifts. How much beef broth is the right amount to make this taste as wonderful as it does using the sausage. Thank you! Can’t wait to make some.

    • It won’t be as wonderful, but it will have more depth of flavor. Instead of thinning the sauce with water, I’d thin it with beef broth. I don’t think you can overdo it, but I’d taste as you go. Let us know how it works for you!

  21. Lori Hurley says:

    Just curious, have you ever pressure canned this one. I have made this sauce before and I’m making it again today. I think I’m going to can the leftovers. it’s acidic enough, but I was wondering about the wine. Maybe I should leave that out. Anyone can this???

    • Lori Hurley says:

      Oh shoot… I mean to write “OIL” and typed “wine.” Lol… clearly you can tell what’s on my mind this evening. Hahahaha…..

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