60-Minute Lasagna Meat Sauce

This sauce is ready in 60 minutes but with the additions of basil, sage and bay leaf make the sauce taste as if it has been simmering all day on the stove. This sauce can also be used with your favourite pasta. This is my go-to sauce for lasagna. It is ready in an hour (plus 15 minutes prep time).

If you are quick, then you can dice the onions as the olive oil is heating up, and grate the carrots as the onions are cooking. This will definitely save you the 15 minutes of prep time. :-)

The flavours are built from the bottom up, giving the flavour of an authentic bolognese sauce that you would spend several hours simmering. The bay leaf and the sage only deepen warm earthy tones.

This sauce is a bit on the loose side, so that most of the juices are absorbed into the lasagna noodles. 

The trick to a non-runny lasagna is to let it sit for 10-15 minutes after taking it out of the oven.

Try this link.

My Lasagna Meat Sauce

by For The Love of Italian Cooking
Prep Time: 15
Cook Time: 1 hr 15 min
Ingredients (enough for a large lasagna)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 small red onions, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 carrot, finely grated
  • 1 lb ground meat (½ beef, ½ pork)
  • 2 (28 oz) cans pureed tomato sauce (pomodoro passato)
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 3 sage leaves (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • salt to taste (each layer is seasoned with salt)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
  • ¼ - ½ cup of milk (this helps to neutralize the acidity level from the tomatoes)
1. Heat olive oil and butter over medium-low heat, in a large saucepan. Add onion. Season with a small pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes until the onion is translucent.
2. Add grated carrot and minced garlic. Cook for 2 minutes.
3. Add ground meat and cook till browned, about 6 minutes. You can either drain the fat at this point, or cook it a few more minutes till most of it has evaporated. (This adds more flavour). Season meat with a bit of salt and pepper. You can also add additional seasonings to the meat if you like, such as garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and/or paprika.
4. Add tomato sauce, basil, sage, bay leaf, and season the sauce with salt to taste. Cover saucepan and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes, occassionally stirring.
5. Stir in tomato paste and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
6. Turn off heat. Add 1-2 minced garlic cloves and milk. Cover with lid and let stand 10 minutes before using in the lasagna.
A FEW NOTES: This sauce can also be served over pasta, gnocchi ravioli, tortellini, or used in a parmesan dish. This sauce freezes well.
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Rosa G.
Hamburg, Germany
Hi! My name is Rosa and welcome to my blog! I'm a fun loving, most-of-the-time stressed mother of three small boys, and a former cubicle dweller turned pastry chef. I am an amateur blogger and food photographer and lover of good Italian food. My food is simple, fresh, and seasonal (with an occasional frozen pizza).