Authentic Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef (85% or 90%)
- 1 medium carrot, finely grated (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 (28 oz) cans crushed Roma tomatoes (I recommend Contadina)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
- 3/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 - 1 cup chicken or beef broth, to thin sauce if desired
- freshly, finely grated Romano and Parmesan cheese or Mizithra cheese for serving
In a large non-stick sauce pot, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Crumble ground beef into pot (approximately 1 inch pieces). Brown beef, stirring occasionally (I was always taught to stir constantly but this makes your beef gray, let it brown on bottom and only stir occasionally) and breaking up beef as you stir, until cooked through. Drain ground beef, reserving 1 Tbsp fat in pot. Place browned beef in a food processor and pulse until finely ground, about 10 - 15 seconds, set aside.
Saute carrot and onion in reserved fat over medium high heat until golden, about 4 minutes, adding in garlic during the last minute of sauteing. Remove from heat (this will reduce splattering) and stir in 2 cans crushed Roma tomatoes, remaining 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram, sage, bay leaves, salt, pepper and browned beef. Return pot to low heat and simmer uncovered, 5 - 8 hours (yes minimum of 5 hours), stirring occasionally.
Add broth to sauce to thin sauce if desired (at about 4 hours sauce will be pretty thick so if you want it any thinner just add broth to desired consistency. Also, once it reaches the thickness you want you can cover it with a lid to reduce further condensation). Remove bay leaves and serve sauce warm over pasta garnished with grated cheeses and additional chopped fresh parsley or basil if desired.