Dad’s Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

An easy spaghetti recipe that is quick to prepare and has great flavor. The perfect recipe for your Sunday family dinner!

Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Growing up in the Midwest, we have always called red sauce “spaghetti sauce.” Until I met my husband over 10 years ago, I assumed that’s what everyone called it! Not the case. While dating my Italian husband, we spent many Sunday evenings having dinner with his family. Every week or so we would enjoy spaghetti, meatballs and sausage covered in gravy.

“Gravy?!?” I asked in confusion, looking around the room for turkey and mashed potatoes. Yep. They call it spaghetti sauce “gravy!” Who knew?

His Dad, Salvatore was always a big fan of Prince spaghetti pasta which is something that’s available in New England. One of the best pasta ads of all time was with Anthony the Prince spaghetti kid. Wednesdays were (and are probably still) Prince spaghetti day. Read about the story here.

No matter what you call it, it spells comfort to me. Happy Sunday!

Not a fan of ground beef? No worries! Try some of these other options instead!

Your fork is waiting.

Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Dad’s Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

5 stars
An easy spaghetti recipe that is quick to prepare and has great flavor. The perfect recipe for your Sunday family dinner!
PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 45 minutes
TOTAL: 1 hour
Servings: 4


  • 8 oz whole wheat spaghetti (cooked according to package instructions)
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ½ lb ground sirloin
  • ½ c red wine
  • 16 oz mushrooms (sliced)
  • 32 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • ¼ c fresh basil
  • Parmigiano reggiano – to serve


  • Cook spaghetti according to package instructions and set aside.
  • Heat a Dutch oven or sauce pot over medium-high heat and spray with non-stick spray.
  • Saute onions and salt for 5-7 minutes until softened.
  • Add garlic, chili flakes and ground sirloin. Stir to combine and cook until meat is browned. (Do not be afraid to let the meat sit still for a minute! Color = flavor.)
  • When beef looks like it’s about to burn, add in red wine to deglaze the pan.
  • Use wooden spoon to scrape up tasty bits from bottom of the pan.
  • Add mushrooms and cook 3 minutes or so.
  • Stir in whole tomatoes using back of spoon to break down.
  • Pour in tomato sauce and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or longer. (Tip: Have leftover parmiggiano reggiano rind? Cut off and add to sauce pot. Remove before serving. Adds tons of great flavor!)
  • A minute before serving, stir in fresh basil. Enjoy with freshly grated parm.


Excellent source of Vitamin C, good source iron and Vitamin A.


Calories: 420kcalCarbohydrates: 58.8gProtein: 23.4gFat: 7.9gSaturated Fat: 2.8gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 866mgFiber: 10.9g

2 thoughts on “Dad’s Spaghetti and Meat Sauce”

  1. This is an easy, perfect spaghetti/ meat sauce recipe, exactly as I would make it. One does not need to cook the sauce for more than 30 minutes. In fact you get a fresher tomato taste with the shorter cook time.

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