Ragu aka Meat Sauce

Happy Thanksgiving!Over the past few days, I’ve read many Thanksgiving menus in my Google reader, as you have, too, I’m sure.  If you’re in need of a few ideas, I hope you find a few here, or if you’re feeling inundated with Thanksgiving menus, scroll to the bottom of this post for a delicious ragu recipe.
Thanksgiving dinner will be at our house this year, and there will be 8 of us gathered around the table, my parents, my sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and of course, Brett, Andrew, and I.  In my family, we cook to excess, which is something I imagine everyone does for Thanksgiving.  While Christmas dinner always includes a pasta dish of some kind, we have a traditional New Orleans Thanksgiving meal.  Some of these are recipes I’ve posted in the past, so I’ve linked them; others will be posted next week.

Appetizers
Oyster Patties
Cheese Truffles with Assorted Crackers
Salad
Baby field greens, feta, pears, red onion, sweet & spicy pecans, with tangy cranberry vinaigrette
Main Course
Baked Turkey
Glazed Spiral-sliced Ham
Fried Turkey
Side Dishes
Mirliton & Shrimp Casserole
Deluxe Mashed Potato Casserole
Praline-topped Sweet Potato Souffle
Soft Dinner Rolls
Cranberry Sauce
Desserts
Pecan Pie
Sugar Cookies

Now, time for a recipe!  I usually make meat sauce when I have extra marinara in the freezer, and we’ve eaten all of the meatballs.  After I brown a pound or two of ground beef, I just add my marinara, and voila, meat sauce.  But, there are times when I’m in the mood for a rich-flavored ragu, and today was that day.  This is not a quick sauce nor is it hours long; it’s great to make when you’re puttering around in the kitchen, as I was this morning.  I got the sauce going, then I made pie crust, baked some sweet potatoes, made and baked a batch of meatballs, loaded and unloaded the dishwasher twice, played an online I Spy game with Andrew, and enjoyed 3-4 cups of strong coffee!

Ragu
1 lb ground sirloin
1 cup onions, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 oz tomato paste
28-oz crushed tomatoes
1 cup beef broth or water
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt & pepper, to taste
Heat extra virgin olive oil in large skillet.
Add onions and dried seasoning – cook until transparent and lightly golden on the edges.
Add ground sirloin; cook until meat begins to brown.
Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
Stir in tomato paste, then add crushed tomatoes and either broth or water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a very low simmer.
Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 30-45 minutes, until thickened to your preference.
Taste for seasoning, adding salt & pepper as desired.

Option for creamy sauce – after sauce has thickened to your preference, add 8 oz cream cheese, stirring until melted and your sauce is creamy.

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8 thoughts on “Ragu aka Meat Sauce

  1. Just wanted to stop by and say: 1) I'm so glad that you used the blinkie. That design was one of my favorite freebies. I need to get on to the Christmas ones soon! 2) I hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

    And…3) I'm so happy that everyone loved your blog design. Thank you for spreading the frilly word! 🙂

    Take care, Louanne!!!

  2. oh my goodness…that ragu looks incredible! i always crave good old fashioned pasta after several days of turkey and “american” food! 🙂 i could just reach through my laptop and grab this bowl of sauce! your holiday menu looks fabulous..we over-did it too this year. i hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving with your family…thank you for linking up to tuesday night supper club!

  3. Wow Louanne, I want to eat at your home for thanksgiving – what an amazing menu!! I love a good meat sauce, my kids are huge fans of it. I love a putter recipe too – bonus! Thanks for sharing this with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop!

  4. There's nothing better than a good meat sauce Louanne! I like that you used sirloin – it has such great flavor. Your Thanksgiving menu sounds awesome – I really want to try fried turkey!

  5. mmmm…can I come over for Turkey day, Louanne!? Your menu is mouthwatering…as are the ragu photos…so wonderful! I love time in the kitchen like that 😉 Thank you for sharing w/ the hearth and soul hop, and I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful 😀

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