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Author Notes: This is a twist on my Mom's tomato-meat sauce. Although she has since converted to my recipe since I had her over for dinner to try it. The carrots and vinegar add a nice sweetness to this delicious sauce. I can eat the sauce alone without even any pasta, that's how much I love this! I always make extra, it freezes great. —ADRIENE
- 4 pounds ground beef (lean)
- 2 onions-small dice
- 4 carrots-small dice
- 10 garlic cloves-minced
- 3 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons basil chiffonade
- salt & pepper
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Pour the olive oil into a large pot, once it is hot add the onions in. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until they start to caramelize, then add the diced carrots. Cook carrots for another 10 minutes or so. I do this on high heat to get nice caramelization, but you must keep a close eye on it so it does not burn.
- Now add in the minced garlic and pepper flakes, cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the vinegar and sugar and cook for 2 minutes.
- Turn heat to a medium flame and push the vegetables to the sides of the pot and add the ground beef in. While it is cooking you want to stir it around and break apart the meat. Continue to cook until it is all brown and mostly cooked through, about 15 minutes.
- Now you can add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring everything up to a boil and then add a lid that is cracked open and bring to a slow simmer. Start by adding in a small amount of salt and pepper and adjust the seasoning again when it is done.
- While the sauce is cooking the grease from the meat will rise up to the top, you should continuously skim off the fat with a small ladle throughout the cooking process. Cook for about 2 1/2 hours until the meat is extremely tender and the flavors have all blended together. Adjust the seasoning again and add in the basil chiffonade to finish.
- Serve over your choice of pasta with freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. Enjoy!