Italian Essentials: Red Sauce (meat flavored)

Andy Anderson !


My Aunt Josephine had two red sauces: One was meatless (I posted that one), this one uses a few pieces of meat simmering in the sauce to flavor it. Both recipes are fairly traditional in Italy, and both have great authentic flavors.

This sauce freezes nicely. So, make a big batch, freeze it in portions, and then pull one out whenever you have a hankering for some good red sauce.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.


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15 Min
2 Hr
Stove Top



  • 1 Tbsp
    grapeseed oil
  • 1 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted
  • 1 medium
    boneless pork chop, cut into strips or cubes
  • 2 oz
    italian sausage, no casings
  • 4 clove
    baked garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 medium
    yellow onion, grated
  • 2 Tbsp
    dried basil
  • 1 tsp
    dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp
    parsley flakes
  • 2 Tbsp
    tomato paste
  • 8 oz
    tomato sauce, 1 can
  • 28 oz
    whole, peeled tomatoes, 1 large can
  • 2 c
    filtered water, plus more as needed
  • 3 - 4 Tbsp
    parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • ·
    salt, kosher variety, to taste, fine grind
  • ·
    white pepper, freshly ground, to taste

  • 1 - 2 pinch
    red pepper flakes, for a bit of kick

How to Make Italian Essentials: Red Sauce (meat flavored)


  2. The meat used in recipe is for flavoring the red sauce. But, do not throw it away… those are chef’s treats. They have been simmering in that sauce for two hours, and they are tender and flavorful. My Aunt Josephine used to put them into a bowl, and when dinner was served, we kids got to eat them. I think the adults were jealous.
  3. Gather your Ingredients (mise en place).
  4. Take the tomatoes, put them into a bowl, and squeeze them until they are pulp.
  5. Add the butter and oil to a heavy-bottom pot, over medium-high heat.
  6. When the foaming subsides, add the meat to the pot, and cook until it begins to brown, about 5 – 7 minutes.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium, and then add the baked garlic, and onions.
  8. Cook until the onions are softened, but not browned, about 2 – 3 minutes.
  9. Add the remainder of the ingredients, with the exception of the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
  10. Bring to a low simmer, and cook, partially covered, for 2 hours.
  11. Chef’s Note: While it is simmering, season with a bit of salt and pepper, to taste. Take your time with the seasoning, do not do it all at once. Every fifteen or twenty minutes, uncover, decide if it needs a bit more salt, and pepper, and add a pinch or two.
  12. After two hours, remove from the heat, and take out the meat. Do not discard. Either eat them yourself (chef’s treats), or serve them on the side.
  13. Throw in 2 – 3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, and melt it into the sauce.
  15. Serve over pasta, with some nice crusty Italian bread, or in any other way you would use an Italian red sauce. Enjoy.
  16. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

Printable Recipe Card

About Italian Essentials: Red Sauce (meat flavored)

Course/Dish: Other Sauces
Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: Italian
Other Tag: Heirloom

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