Lasagna Meat and Tomato Sauce

Lasagna Meat and Tomato Sauce

Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 90 minutes

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 lb ground Italian hot sausage, uncased, crumbled
2 quarts (64 oz) tomato sauce*
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 cup (2 large ribs) celery, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 Tbsp garlic, fresh chopped
1 cup water
2 tsp sugar

Directions for Meat Sauce:
1. Add the olive oil and butter to a Dutch oven over medium-high heat
2. Add onion, celery, carrots, and garlic; cover pot and cook 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes
3. Add the crumbled ground beef and Italian sausage, cover the pot, and cook 15 minutes, stirring twice
4. Check that the meat is browned, but not dry, and all vegetables are soft before moving to next step
5. Mix the water, sugar and beef broth in a separate, unheated, container, and add to the pot, cover, bring to a simmer
6. Stir in the tomato sauce,* Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to the pot, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly
7. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes
8. Strain off fat and excess liquids to create a thick meat sauce that is easy to ladle into the lasagna pan

Larry VaughnLea likes her lasagna to have a separate layer of ground beef, while I like to cook the Italian seasoning into the meat for that extra robust flavor. I also, sometimes, switch out some of the tomato sauce for crushed or stewed tomatoes, just to have that little extra bit of toothy texture. *When I do that, I replace the 2 quarts of tomato sauce with 1 quart tomato sauce, 28 ounces crushed tomatoes, and a 6 ounce can of tomato paste. This is a delicious sauce in both forms!