Our large, extended family gets together the Sunday Evening before Christmas to celebrate. This year, we made it an Italian Christmas meal. My married daughter, Heather, offered to make the main dish – but needed ideas.
I said, I had planned to make some easy Italian Meat Sauce, using both ground beef and Italian sausage, because her dad wants whole grain pasta to go with it. He knows… our extended family would bring less-healthy, but yummy choices…. to tempt him. She volunteered to make the sauce, with my recipe, if I’d then bring Dad’s whole-grain pasta and garlic bread. DEAL!
I gave her this recipe and it was a huge hit, quite a few others mentioned how great it was too! Here it’s loaded with zucchini, chunks of yellow squash and flat leaf parsley. I’ll often add mushrooms; this time, we didn’t. I add the same meats, herbs and seasonings for lasagna too. I’ve even grilled the squashes, in place of pasta, making Gluten Free lasagna!
Italian Meat Sauce
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb Italian sausage (w/o casings)
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
1 tsp minced garlic (fresh or bottled)
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp fennel seeds
3/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cracked black pepper
1 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, minced
8 cups homemade Fresh Marinara Sauce (or 2 jars of sauce)
2 small zucchini, cut into chunks
2 yellow crookneck squash, cut into chunks
Olive oil and/or butter
Regular or Gluten Free Pasta, as desired
Brown ground beef and sausage with the onion and garlic. Add seasonings, parsley and stir in the sauce. Heat through until bubbly. Meanwhile, saute the zucchini and yellow squash in a small amount of olive oil and/or butter, not too much… leave barely crisp. Add veggies to the sauce and serve over hot regular or Gluten Free pasta.