Tomato Sauce for Lasagna

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If you think your lasagna is in need of a makeover, make it over with this Tomato Sauce, which features two meats, five veggies, herbs, spices, and even a glass of red wine!

Tomato Sauce for Lasagna featured image focused shot

The secret to a good lasagna? The sauce. It’s always the sauce. And maybe the cheese. And good noodles can make a huge difference… Okay, so maybe a good lasagna hinges on a number of elements. But that doesn’t mean the sauce is any less important! It’s because of the sauce that you can make a variety of lasagnas. Want a vegetarian lasagna? A meat lasagna? A sausage lasagna? A spinach lasagna? What about lasagna roll-ups? You’ve got options, people.

Today we’re not messing around. We’re including ground beef AND ground sausage for an expansive flavor profile. And because I haven’t developed a recipe in recent memory that featured wine as an ingredient, we’re gonna pour a glass for ourselves and a glass for the lasagna. So grab a bottle and a pan: it’s lasagna time!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground sausage
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 8 oz. red wine
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 14 oz. cans crushed tomato
  • 1 tbsp Italian herbs
  • salt and pepper
Tomato Sauce for Lasagna ingredients

How To Make Lasagna Tomato Sauce

Step 1: Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy-based pot over MED-HIGH heat. Brown the ground beef and sausage meat.

Tomato Sauce for Lasagna steps top view

Step 2: Remove the meat from the pot once browned. Add the rest of the olive oil along with the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Sauté for 5–8 minutes.

Tomato Sauce for Lasagna steps top view

Step 3: Add the browned meat back in the pot, along with the red wine, tomato paste, crushed tomato, herbs, salt, and pepper. Stir, then cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 45–60 minutes, until most of the liquid has been cooked away. Taste the sauce and add more seasoning if necessary.

Tomato Sauce for Lasagna steps top view

Top Tips For a Perfect Lasagna Tomato Sauce

  • Avoid lean or extra-lean beef. For the most flavorful meat, you’re going to need a higher fat percentage.
  • Choose a decent red wine for a more complex flavor, then let it simmer to cook off the alcohol.
  • Add the tomato paste first and let it caramelize to enhance its flavors.
  • If you’re in no rush, let the sauce simmer for longer, ideally 1 to 2 hours.
  • Season gradually in small amounts then taste. Adjust accordingly.
Tomato Sauce for Lasagna featured image top view

FAQs

What type of sausage should I use?

Given that this is an Italian dish, I would use Italian sausage. It is seasoned with fennel (akin to anise/licorice in taste), which sets apart from regular sausage.

Can I use fresh herbs instead of dried herbs?

Yes, though you will probably need to increase the amount used as dried herbs are generally more potent.

What is typically found in “Italian herbs”?

When someone refers to Italian herbs, they usually mean basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, sage, parsley, and red pepper flakes. You can add each of these individually or you can buy it pre-mixed.

My sauce is too acidic. What can I do?

Add a pinch of sugar; it will neutralize the acidity.

My sauce is too lumpy. What can I do?

If you have a blender (immersion or other), use it to smooth it out.

Tomato Sauce for Lasagna featured image close up view

Related Recipes

Lasagna Soup: A rich tomato base, sausage, a ricotta cheese mixture, all mixed together to be eaten with a bowl and spoon (and bread for dipping!).

Skillet Lasagna: Noodles, ricotta cheese, sausage, sauce, and melted cheese in a skillet.

Slow-Cooker Lasagna: Do you find making a lasagna in the oven a pain? Then turn to this recipe and your slow cooker for help.

Easy Ravioli Lasagna: A novel approach to making lasagna that can save you time and energy. Perfect as a midweek meal.

How to Prep and Store Lasagna Tomato Sauce

Speaking about the sauce only, you can store it in an airtight container or jar then in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just let it cool completely first. Apply it to your lasagna within that timeframe and you’re good. You can also freeze the sauce using jars or resealable bags. If you’re using jars, leave head space to allow for expansion during the freezing process. If you’re going for bags, lay the sauce-filled bags out on a pan and place in the freezer for a few hours. Once the sauce has hardened, you can remove the pan and easily store the flattened bags. To reheat, let the sauce thaw in the fridge overnight. You can then microwave it or put it on the stove on LOW-MED heat.

Tomato Sauce for Lasagna featured image close up view

Tomato Sauce for Lasagna

If you think your lasagna is in need of a makeover, make it over with this Tomato Sauce, which features two meats, five veggies, herbs, spices, and even a glass of red wine!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground sausage
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 sticks celery chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 8 oz. red wine
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 x14 oz. cans crushed tomato
  • 1 tbsp Italian herbs
  • salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy-based pot over MED-HIGH heat. Brown the ground beef and sausage meat.
  • Remove the meat from the pot once browned. Add the rest of the olive oil along with the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Sauté for 5–8 minutes.
  • Add the browned meat back in the pot, along with the red wine, tomato paste, crushed tomato herbs, salt, and pepper. Stir then cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 45–60 minutes, until most of the liquid has been cooked away. Taste the sauce and add more seasoning if necessary.

Notes

  • Avoid lean or extra-lean beef. For the most flavorful meat, you’re going to need a higher fat percentage.
  • Choose a decent red wine for a more complex flavor then let it simmer to cook off the alcohol.
  • Add the tomato paste first and let it caramelize to enhance its flavors.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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