This Red Wine Meat Sauce is the best spaghetti meat sauce. Our spaghetti pasta is is cooked al dente, then topped with tomato-based sauce made with red wine, parmesan cheese, a blend of flavor-bursting herbs, and perfectly seasoned ground beef. Translation: A MEAT SAUCE THAT IS TO DIE FOR.
Never will I look at spaghetti meat sauce the same way again.
The Very Best Spaghetti Meat Sauce
This spaghetti meat sauce is a tried and true recipe that took a long time to perfect. I actually made this red wine meat sauce for fun almost a year ago, just because I was craving spaghetti and there was no pre-made sauce in the house.
Over months, I perfected my red wine meat sauce bit by bit every time I make it again.
It truly is the best spaghetti meat sauce, and while every ingredient plays an important role, the real game changer here is red wine.
Meat Sauce with Red Wine
What sets this apart from many other spaghetti sauces is this – we infused that sauce with fresh basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, and of course – good quality red wine.
Red wine is one ingredient, but it is so flavorful when cooked it brings on flavors that is typically achieved with a handful of ingredients. It bumps the flavor of a dish up many notches.
If you don’t like the taste of red wine or alcohol, we are actually cooking down the alcohol so what’s left is delicious flavors, without the alcoholic taste.
I LOVE cooking Meat Sauce with red wine. It’s an ingredient that is used very commonly in nice Italian restaurants to give amazing flavors to their pasta dishes.
An important thing to note when cooking with red wine: do not cook with bad quality or old wine. We will be able to cook down the alcohol, but cooking will not take away the old and bad flavors.
There’s no need to get super expensive wine, just use something you do not mind drinking.
Now let’s talk about my other favorite ingredient – fresh basil. Fresh herbs make the best food. It has better flavors, thus making the sauce more flavorful.
If you really don’t have fresh basil, you can use dried ones, but I highly recommend using fresh basil if you can find them!
Here are the full ingredient list for my red wine meat sauce:
- red wine – Avoid sweet red wine, or old wine. Read more on red wine in the section above this!
- fresh basil – fresh is always the best, but in a pinch, dried basil works as well.
- fresh garlic – do not substitute with garlic powder
- lean ground beef – you can also do half ground beef and half Italian sausage if you want
- whole peeled canned tomatoes – San Marzano’s are my favorite, but other kinds work as well
- tomato sauce
- olive oil
How to Make Red Wine Meat Sauce
When making red wine meat sauce, the key is to be patient and simmer your sauce so that it develops much richness and depth in flavor.
I like to cook my red wine meat sauce in a Dutch oven or large pot.
Steps to make the best meat sauce:
- Add olive oil and minced garlic to a large pot or Dutch oven, and cook under medium heat. Once garlic is fragrant, add ground beef. Break ground beef into small pieces, then season with some salt. Continue to cook until beef is no longer pink. Seasoning your meat here will ensure that some flavors are seared into the meat, and not just in the sauce.
- Add whole peeled canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, red wine, chopped basil, oregano, marjoram, sugar and salt.
- Bring to boil, then lower to medium low heat and let it cook for 20-25 minutes. This is where we let the flavors come together, and cook down the alcohol in the red wine
- Add parmesan cheese to sauce, stir, then add salt to taste. Note that salt is used to open up the flavors, so if your sauce is flat, try adding a bit of salt.
- At the end sauce should have thicken, and flavors should be rich and bold.
- Serve over spaghetti and enjoy!
Ah spaghetti with red wine meat sauce, a.k.a. the BEST meat sauce ever.
Elegant, delicious, sophisticated, flavorful, amazing. All the verbs you can find to describe a dish that you love with your whole dang heart.
Yet so doable and simple. It doesn’t take much more work than a regular, plainer spaghetti sauce. So my question to you is: WHY SETTLE??
We are going into another couple of weeks where schedules are crazy busy, and I need to not cook for a few nights, but I still want to eat yummy foods. Because I always do.
I know I will be dreaming about eating Spaghetti and Meat Sauce on those nights, so I’m preparing ahead. 😉
GRAB A FORK, people! 🙂
Frequently Asked Questions
Substitute wine with beef broth, and add half a cube of beef bouillon to bump up the flavor. Taste and add more beef bouillon if needed
Try cooking it for longer, or bump up the heat slightly to boil down the liquid. You can also drain the whole tomatoes to reduce the liquid in the meat sauce
Absolutely! They freeze very well. Keep them in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
DID YOU ENJOY THIS RECIPE? Please comment below and give us a 5-star rating! This will help others find this recipe on Google and Pinterest. We very much appreciate your help! 🤍
More Pasta Dishes
- Classic Lasagna with Béchamel Sauce (without ricotta)
- Creamy Tomato Pasta with Italian Sausage
- Baked Ziti
- Creamy Sundried Tomato Pasta with Chicken
- Tomato Basil Gnocchi
- Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta
- Lemon Garlic Parmesan Pasta
- Cherry Tomato and Basil Pasta with Chicken
- Cheesy Tomato Chicken Spaghetti
The Best Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
- 4-6 cloves fresh garlic
- olive oil
- 1 lbs lean ground beef
- 28 oz whole peeled canned tomatoes
- 15 oz tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt + more if needed
- 1/8 cup parmesan cheese + more for garnish
- 1 lbs spaghetti
- Mince garlic and chop fresh basil into small pieces. Gather the rest of the ingredients.
- In a large pot or dutch oven, add olive oil and minced garlic, and cook under medium heat. Once garlic is fragrant (do not brown or burn garlic), quickly add ground beef. Break it into small pieces, then season with some salt.
- Once ground beef is no longer pink-ish. Add whole peeled canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, red wine, chopped basil, oregano, marjoram, sugar and salt.
- Bring to boil, then lower to medium low heat and let it cook for 20-25 minutes, or until sauce thickens (see Note 1) and red wine is cooked down (no longer has that strong alcoholic taste).
- While waiting for meat sauce to cook, bring out another pot and cook spaghetti based on package instruction.
- When the 20-25 minutes is up, add parmesan cheese to meat sauce. Stir and taste. If needed, add more salt. Note: Salt is use open up the flavors in addition to adding saltiness. You'll be surprise how much salt open up the other flavors. If the flavors are not coming through, add more salt.
- Drain cooked spaghetti and combine with sauce.
- Garnish with more parmesan cheese if desire.
- Serve and enjoy!