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The Best Meat Sauce. Ever.

Ever go to a top-notch Italian restaurant that had unique, creative dishes? The kind of place where everything sounded good and it was hard to decide? If so, you probably didn’t order the pasta with meat sauce. But if you had, it might have been the best dish there. I did that once, and it was so good that I was determined to re-create it at home. I present you with the best meat sauce. Ever.


1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
3 Tbsp red wine
1 (15oz) can black olives, sliced (optional)
2 Tbsp capers (optional)
2 tsp dried basil (or 2 Tbsp fresh chopped)
2 tsp dried parsley (or 2 Tbsp fresh chopped)
1 tsp dried oregano (or 1 Tbsp fresh chopped)
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt and pepper, to taste
8 oz pasta of choice (we love Banza)
fresh grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese


1. Preheat a skillet on medium-high heat and add the olive oil and crushed red pepper. Once the oil thins out, and before it begins to smoke, add the onion and garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add the beef and cook for 1 minute. Break apart the meat with a spatula and cook until well done, about 5-7 minutes. Drain the beef.

2. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the crushed tomatoes, wine, olives and capers (if using), and remaining seasonings and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.

3. Serve the sauce over the pasta and top with fresh parmigiano-reggiano.