• 3 pounds ground beef (I used ground round)
  • 2 pounds sausage
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
  • 3 cups fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup white wine or stock (your choice)
  • Two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • One 24-ounce jar good store-bought marinara sauce
  • One 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 3 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, optional
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley or 3 tablespoons parsley flakes (plus a little more for serving)
  • 1 whole rind from 1 wedge Parmesan, optional
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, optional (plus more for serving)

Makes a lot of sauce, you might want to halve it or more. Freezes well.


In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef and sausage until totally browned. Remove the meat from the pot with a slotted spoon and put it into a bowl. Set aside.

Discard any grease in the pot, but do not clean the pot. Drizzle in the olive oil. When it is heated, throw in the onions and bell peppers. Stir it around for 1 1/2 minutes, and then add the garlic. Stir and cook for an additional minute.

Pour in the wine and allow it to bubble up and reduce for about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, marinara sauce and tomato paste. Stir to combine, and then add the sugar, salt, oregano, thyme, red pepper and cayenne (if using) and bay leaves. Stir, and then add the cooked ground beef and sausage and stir to combine.

Saute mushrooms in oil (and butter?) until they look yummy, add to pot.

Place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add a little water or some low-sodium broth if it needs more liquid.

After an hour, add the minced parsley and the Parmesan rind if using (or grated Parmesan if you prefer–or both!). Stir to combine, and then put the lid back on and allow it to simmer for another 30 minutes or so. Discard the bay leaves before serving.

Serve a big bowl of oiled noodles and the meat sauce so guests can serve themselves. Top each serving with minced parsley and grated Parmesan (or Parmesan shavings) and serve with a big piece of garlic-cheese bread.

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