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Indispensable Meat Sauce for Pasta

WebMD Recipe from

Total Time: 45 Minutes

Indispensable Meat Sauce for Pasta

Prosciutto, wine and mushrooms dress up this all-purpose spaghetti sauce; keep some handy in your freezer to toss with your favorite pasta, layer into lasagna or spoon over polenta. We have added bulgur to reduce the amount of ground beef.


  • 8 ounces lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 ounce prosciutto, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced (3 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 28-ounce cans plum tomatoes (with juices), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup bulgur


Step 1
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a colander to drain fat. Set aside.
Step 2
Add oil to the Dutch oven and heat over low heat. Add prosciutto, onion, carrots, celery, and bell pepper and sauté until softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes more. Add wine, increase heat to medium-high and cook until the wine has evaporated. Stir in tomatoes, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and the reserved beef. Simmer, uncovered, stirring often, for an hour. Add water and bulgur. Simmer until the bulgur is tender, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

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