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A meat sauce bursting with traditional Italian flavors? Sign me up! Not only is this classic Italian recipe delicious, but it’s easy to make – combine all of the ingredients in a large dutch oven or slow cooker and know that the longer it simmers on the stove, the bigger the flavors will be, along with a great smelling house. 

Sunday supper inspo, here you go! This traditional meat sauce combines not one, not two, but three kinds of meat: Hempler’s bacon, Hempler’s Italian sausage & ground beef to create big flavors. Then, we add a touch of red wine, fresh herbs, plenty of Parmesan cheese, and a splash of cream to make a rich, flavorful sauce that is guaranteed to please. Serve with your favorite pasta, but we offer two thumbs up to a big ol’ bowl of spaghetti. 

Other great reasons to make this recipe: it will feed a hungry crowd, it can be made in advance, and leftovers! 



4 slices Hempler’s bacon, chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 medium stalk celery with leaves, finely diced
3 small carrot, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound Hempler’s Ground Hot Italian Sausage
1 can (6oz) tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 can (28 ounce) crushed tomatoes
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 parmesan rind
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 cup half and half (or heavy cream or milk)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

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  1. In a large dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy, 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrots, celery, red pepper, and garlic. Cook until the veggies have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and sausage—season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up the meat as it cooks until it has browned all over, 10 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato paste and red wine; cook for 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and 2 cups of water or stock. Stir in the thyme, bay leaf, and parmesan rind. Stir to combine and season with more salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat, occasionally stirring, until thickened, 2-3 hours or longer (the longer, the better!). Add up to 1 cup of water or stock if the sauce seems dry.
  3. Discard the thyme, bay leaf, and parmesan rind. Stir in the milk or cream and basil, and cook until warmed through 10-15 minutes.
  4. Serve over your favorite pasta, and enjoy!