This classic spaghetti and meat sauce is one of my oldest recipes I have!
CLASSIC SPAGEHETTI WITH MEAT SUACE- This is one of my oldest recipes! I still after 40+ years enjoy it!

This is a family favorite! I have been serving this sauce for 40+ years and I still crave it on Italian Night! It takes a couple hours to simmer and the aroma will fill your house!!!! I can hardly resist dipping crackers and bread into it while it cooks!!  When the kids get home from school they do the same! :)I can still see them today in this ritual and it brings back many happy memories. Please put away the Ragu and give my HOMEMADE SAUCE a try!!! It really is easy and worth the couple of extra steps! xoxo



Author The Food Nanny


  • 3 14oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil divided
  • 1/3 cup chopped white onion
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 pound uncooked spaghetti
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese


  • Optional step: Put the tomatoes and liquid in a blender and pulse 4 or 5 seconds to crush. Set aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pot of skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook and stir until the onion is soft but not brown. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the meat. Continue to cook, stirring until the meat is browned. Stir in the tomato paste with a wooden spoon. Cook until the mixture starts sticking to the pan, about 5 mins. Add the reserved tomatoes, brown sugar, oregano, salt, basil, thyme, and bay leaf. Mix well. Stir in the water. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat, and simmer uncovered about 2 hours, stirring periodically and adding more hot water if the sauce gets too thick.
  • Twenty minutes before serving, cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain.
  • Put the Spaghetti in a bowl, sprinkle in the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil, and combine. Serve the sauce in another bowl. Pass the cheese.
  • Serve with a tossed salad, corn or green beans, and garlic bread.


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