I have been making this sauce for years. It’s Giada’s recipe. It is such a hearty, filling meat sauce. Everyone I’ve made it for loves it. And, it freezes very well. (I actually make a double batch every year before my family vacations in Lake George, NY. We defrost it and have a pasta dinner one night when we’re sick of dining out.) So, when my close friend Lorena had her first baby a few weeks ago, I knew it would be perfect for her! (Baby Nathan, by the way, is so freaking cute!!)
Start with all the chopping…(I made a double batch, so my pictures are a bit misleading.)
- Chop 1 onion and 2 garlic cloves.
- Heat 1/4 cup EVOO in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is warm, add the garlic and onion and stir.
- While that cooks, dice up 1 carrot and 1 stalk of celery.
- Once the garlic and onion are tender and golden (about 8 minutes), add the carrots and celery. Stir.
- While the carrots and the celery soften up, mince up some parsley and chiffonade basil (or as my fashionista sister say, “chiffon some basil!”).
- To chiffonade the basil, pile up some leaves and roll like a cigar.
- Run your know through the rolled basil, creating “ribbons”.
- Once the carrots and celery are tender (about 7 minutes), add about 1.3 pounds of ground chuck.
- Break the meat up with a wooden spoon.
- While the meat browns (make sure you stir it occasionally), open 1 large can of crushed tomatoes (28 ounces).
- When the meat is completely browned, add the parsley, basil, and crushed tomatoes.
- Stir to mix everything up.
- Reduce the heat to low, season with s&p, and let simmer for about 30 minutes. (I stirred every now and then.)
- Once the sauce has thickened, add some grated Parmesan cheese.
- Mix to combine.
At this point, serve with some pasta (I went with whole wheat penne rigate)…
Or let cool, then place in containers to put in the fridge (for 3-4 days) or in the freezer (for a few months)…
Either way, make sure you do a quality control check…aka taste it! Enjoy!