This is the one your mom used to make for the PTA, Cub/Girl Scout fund raisers although I can remember some pretty bad renditions as a child.  We’ll use our base marinara sauce with some embellishment and if you’d like a really good rich mans sauce you can braise some ribs, pork shank, or bottom rounds and use it as your protein. I also throw in what ever herbs I might have at hand like basil, or sage.  You could also add some chopped jarred roasted red peppers or a few minced pepperoncini for a pleasant flavor. Classically, if there is such a thing, you’d add chicken livers and a touch of creme.

1 recipe marinara sauce –or  jarred spaghetti sauce

4 tablespoons olive oil

6 ounces red onion and fennel diced

1 ounce oregano, fresh, minced – dry works

1 pound ground beef or shredded “pot roast”

6 ounces tomato paste

4 ounces each red wine and meat broth

To taste sugar, to neutralize the acid



  1. Sauté the onion, fennel, and oregano in the olive oil till opaque
  2. Add the ground beast and cook till colored
  3. Add the tomato paste, wine and broth simmer 30 minutes
  4. Check seasoning, adjust and add sugar if need, finish with butter


My favorite for this construct is oxtail, takes a bit of effort but it’s great and a bone in braised pork butt is also a real treat.  Can be used as a sauce by thinning with broth or as a filling by reducing.