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Matt's Sunday Sauce

Matt's "Sunday gravy" earns its name because it can simmer all day, and if you keep tasting it as it cooks you'll notice how that long slow heat really deepens the flavor. You can use this sauce for just about anything—lasagna, pizza, or just over some plain spaghetti. It's also a great opportunity to practice your knife skills with all that dicing! Try getting creative with flavors, tasting and adjusting as you go and adding your favorite herbs and spices. With high quality ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes, fresh California Olive Ranch olive oil, and of course St. Croix beef, you really can't go wrong, so follow Matt's example, and make the finishing touches on this recipe your own.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 6 cloves fresh garlic

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 small can or tube tomato paste

  • 2 cans San Marzano tomatoes

  • a few leaves of fresh basil, shredded or chopped

  • salt

  • fresh cracked black pepper

  • additional herbs and spices as desired, like red pepper flakes, oregano, etc

  • parmesan rind or ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

  • 1 lb ground beef

  • 1 lb bulk sausage

  • 2 tbsp butter or olive oil


Simmer onions in olive oil in large stock pot until translucent. Add garlic and simmer for about 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste. Remove skins from San Marzano tomatoes (if you're hardcore like Matt and bought whole, that is. You can also buy peeled/crushed) and add them to your stock pot. Crush any large chunks of tomato with your spoon as you stir them in. Stir in basil, red wine, your other herbs/spices and the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste as you cook. Cook for at least an hour before removing from heat.

As your sauce simmers, brown the ground beef and sausage in a skillet. When cooked, strain and add to the sauce, and continue to simmer. You can go all day—the longer your sauce cooks, the deeper the flavor—but be sure to stir so that the bottom doesn't burn! (If it does burn, don't stir, just transfer the rest of the sauce to a new pot and leave the bitter burned part behind) Stir in butter or olive oil before serving.

Adapted from Basics with Babish by Andrew Rea and Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat


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