Easy Pasta Meat Sauce With Bacon & Parm

Easy Pasta Meat Sauce With Bacon & Parm

Servings: 6


  • 2 Tlbs / Olive Oil
  • 8 cloves / Garlic, Minced
  • 1 med / red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp / paprika
  • 1 Tlbs / dried basil
  • 1 Tlbs / dried oregano
  • 1 1/4 lbs / lean ground beef or beef and Italian sausage
  • 1/2 lb / bacon, cut into lardons (small strips)
  • 1 28oz can / diced tomatoes
  • 4 Tlbs / tomato paste
  • 3 Tlbs / balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup / dry red wine
  • 1 cup / grated Parmesan cheese plus more to serve
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 lb / your choice of tube style pasta


  1. In a large, high-sided, heavy bottomed cooking pot (you’ll be mixing the pasta with the sauce at the end) over medium-high, heat the olive oil, add the bacon and render until you’ve cooked off some of the fat, two or three minutes. Add the garlic, red onion, paprika, basil and oregano and sauté until the onion is tender and seasonings are fragrant, about five minutes, stirring to keep from burning.
  2. Start a large pot of water for your pasta and add two or three good pinches of kosher salt and bring to a boil.
  3. Continue your sauce by adding the ground beef/sausage and sauté until the beef/sausage is cooked through and begins to brown, about eight minutes. Add the cup of red wine and cook to reduce the wine by half. Check for good strong flavors at this point and add more seasonings to taste. Add the diced tomatoes and any juices, tomato paste and vinegar and bring to a simmer.
  4. Cook the pasta as the sauce is cooking, stirring once or twice to make sure it’s not sticking, two minutes less than the package instructions for al dente, drain, saving a cup of the pasta water and pour into a bowl large enough to hold and top with a bit of olive oil and mix to coat so the pasta doesn’t stick together. Set aside.
  5. Reduce the sauce heat to low and cook for five minutes stirring frequently, to let the flavors combine. Stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Once you have the sauce adjusted to your taste add the drained pasta to the sauce pot and mix to combine so all the pasta is coated with the sauce and then let heat for three or four minutes so the pasta is warm. Use a bit of the pasta water if it gets too thick.
  7. Serve in bowls and top with more parm. Enjoy!