Family favorite, requested often, that I have used for years. I did not include it in the recipe, but I often add a big splash of red wine into the sauce when the tomatoes go in as well. Proportions do not have to be exact...I generally use whatever tomato products I have in my pantry.
In large pot on medium heat, brown meat. Drain fat or spoon off fat. Add enough olive oil to coat pan.
Add onions and peppers to pot with meat, and saute, stirring frequently, just until peppers start to wild and onions translucent. If using fresh mushrooms, add and stir until beginning to soften. Add minced garlic, stirring so as not to let it brown.
Add all other ingredients except herbs, salt, pepper, brown sugar and corn starch. Bring to active simmer, cover, reduce heat, simmer low for at least 30 minutes to blend flavors, or as long as you like, stirring frequently. About 30 minutes prior to serving, add herbs. Continue simmering on low, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and scorching. About 10 minutes before serving, adjust seasonings, salt and pepper to taste. Add brown sugar, more or less to taste. Bring back to active simmer, add corn starch slurry a little at a time if you like to tighten sauce a bit. This is optional and not needed if sauce has cooked slowly all afternoon!