Donatelli's - Meat Sauce Recipe

Total Time:
1 hr 40 min
20 min
1 hr 20 min

6 to 8 servings

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 1 (29-ounce) can tomato puree
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon beef base
  • 1 tablespoon chicken base
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley leaves

Brown ground beef with minced garlic and salt and pepper, to taste. Drain ground beef and set aside.

Place oil and onions in a saucepan and saute on high heat until soft. Add all cans of tomato products. Fill the tomato puree can with hot water and dissolve beef and chicken base in this water. Add this water and base mixture to saucepan. Add all other ingredients and heat through. Once hot, add the browned ground beef and simmer on low heat for approximately 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Serve over your favorite pasta -- enjoy!!!!

Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.

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4.5 37
Ugh. If I wanted to eat tomato paste, I could save a lot of time, money and trouble and just put a glob of tomato paste on some spaghetti. This sauce tasted EXACTLY like a can of tomato paste. I thought 24 oz sounded like too much and I should have listened to my gut. I managed to salvage the sauce by adding a sautéed grated carrot, 2 beef bullion cubes, a large chunk of parmesano reggiano cheese rind, some red wine, some sugar, some milk and 3 bay leaves and cooking it for a few more hours on very low. Unbelievably disappointing recipe. I don't know why it had a 5 star review. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I like a thick tasty sauce and this fits that bill. But when I want a meat sauce, I want to be able to taste the meat. I think it's the 24 oz of tomato paste that overpowers it. Next time I'll try it with only 18 oz of paste. I also like a meat sauce meatier. This is a restaurant recipe so they do things a little differently than most would at home for themselves, some better and some to save on food costs. Next time I'll add another pound or two of beef. It is a good enough sauce that I'll try it again with a few tweeks. If anybody has any other ideas to get more of the flavor of the meat, I'm open to suggestions. To me the major reason for a meat sauces is the meat and if I can't bring it out more I'm just going to stick to my jar of Ragu. When I don't care about the meat so much this will likely be my go to recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great meat sauce recipe! I did only use 1 can of tomato paste and added more garlic. It freezes very well. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I grew up in WBL and loving Donatelli's. As an adult I've traveled all over the country, have lived in other states, and Donatelli's sauce remains my favorite. I made it yesterday, following the instructions exactly, and it came out perfectly. The exact same as at the restaurant. There is something very homey and unrefined about this sauce that makes it so good. Now seeing the recipe, I think it must be the beef and chicken base. My advice is to make it exactly as is and then tweak later if you really must. Also, some are saying that there is way too much paste but they must not have actually made it or didn't follow the instructions because halfway through the recipe it calls for a lot of water to dissolve the base into. This thins out the sauce to the perfect consistency. Also, we NEVER eat spaghetti o's. I make lots of ethnic food and am known for my good taste. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I can never understand how anyone can rate a recipe after changing so many ingredients. I thought the idea is to make it according to the original recipe and after that, change to your hearts content. I made this and it tasted pretty good. I do agree with some of the comments, so the next time I make this I will know what to adjust. Two cans of tomato paste was a bit much. I always add red wine to mine and Italian sausage for more flavor. Please folks, don't rate a recipe after you have altered it up to the max. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm sure glad I don't live in White Bear Lake, MN. Or, if I did, I would hope there was another restaurant to eat in. This tasted worse than Ragu. Too tart and lacking any depth of flavor whatsoever. I'm sure the 5 star ratings all came from parents of children who regularly eat Spaghetti O's. Ugh. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolutely nothing wrong with this recipe, just I don't feel it was delicious...very good though, keeping it for my go to recipe for sauce. Did use 1.2 beef and 1/2 sausage. No disrespect to young cooks, but what I thought was so wonderful when I first started cooking and today are very different wish there was a place on reviews to check seasoned cook, just starting etc, if fact I think those first years when everything is new and great are a wonderful time in your life. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a FABULOUS meat sauce!!! I made one change and that was to use fresh basil since I had it on hand...Otherwise, I cooked as is and the results were so awesome!! I could not stop tasting the sauce! I used this sauce for my lasagna and I can't wait to try it! I am freezing the rest for future use. I am so glad I tried this! Way better than jar sauce. It tastes so great! Thanks for posting!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great base for a recipe. I made a few small tweaks, and it was fantastic! I used one pound lean ground beef and one pound italian sausage for more flavor. Only use one can of tomato paste. Instead of using the chicken and beef base, I mixed half can chicken broth and red wine. I cooked the ground beef and sausage with the garlic, added it to the slow cooker pot. Made the tomato sauce, added to the slow cooker pot and refrigerated over night. In the morning I stirred in one cup water, put in on low in the slow cooker, and it was AMAZING by the time I got home from work! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This sauce is easy, tasty and is made from everything I have in my fridge already. I added sliced mushrooms and diced green peppers because I like these in my meatsauce. It freezes well, and I will have great lunches for work. We did choose to leave out the paste and just use the puree and the crushed tomatoes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Didn't you taste what you were making? You can adjust any recipe. Recipes aren't permeant, thats the fun part about cooking. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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