Three-Meat Pasta Sauce

Mark grew up on homemade pasta sauce (or, “gravy” as his family calls it). We have the recipe for his grandmother’s sauce – the one he’s used to – but the one time we tried it, it was time-consuming and didn’t come out right. Since then, I’ve been subjecting him to jarred sauces.

He’s mentioned a few times that he really prefers meat sauces, so I decided to see if a quicker, homemade meat sauce would suffice. We both really liked this one – and I liked that it took less than an hour.

Someday, I’ll perfect Grandma’s sauce. In the mean time, this is a great stand-in.

Three-Meat Pasta Sauce
(adapted from Quick Cooking September/October 2005)
Makes about 12 cups

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 c. chopped onion
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
3 c. water
2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
1 c. chopped pepperoni
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. Italian seasoning
1 T. sugar
2 t. garlic salt
1 t. pepper
1 t. dried parsley flakes

In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, sausage and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, water, tomato paste, mushrooms, pepperoni, cheese and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve desired amount. Freeze remaining sauce in serving-size portions in freezer containers.

To use frozen sauce: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Place in a saucepan; heat through.

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