Pasta with Easy Italian Meat Sauce


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Pasta with Easy Italian Meat Sauce recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

I had some ground beef waiting in the refrigerator, so I flipped through my Everyday Food cookbook hoping for something new. I chose this recipe, because it looked just different enough from our usual spaghetti to spark my interest.

With nutmeg and a bit of milk, this was a delicious variation on one of my family’s favorite meals.  Everyone at the table, baby included, enjoyed this meal.

The fact that it took me less than 30 minutes from start to finish makes this recipe a great find.

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Pasta with Easy Italian Meat Sauce

Recipe adapted from and with thanks to Everyday Food


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 28 oz can of whole tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt adjust to your taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper adjust to your taste
  • 1/2 pound fettuccine or wide egg noodles
  • Parmesan cheese freshly grated for serving


  • Start a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and the garlic. Saute for a few minutes and then add the ground beef. Cook until it turns brown, about five more minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and their liquid, crushing each of them with a large spoon. Stir in the milk, bay leaf, thyme, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes. While this is simmering, cook the pasta in the boiling salted water. When the pasta is done, drain it, reserving ½ cup of the water for later.
  • Return the pasta to the warm pot and pour the meat sauce on top of it. Stir gently to combine. Add the reserved pasta water if the pasta seems too dry. (my sauce was fine without the extra water, but it's always a good idea to reserve some water each time) Serve sprinkled with Parmesan. Enjoy!
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. The Starving Student says

    People don't realize it, but the secret ingredient to a killer bolognese is the dairy. If you want to try something a bit richer, add heavy whipping cream instead of the milk. Not exactly figure friendly but the taste cannot be beat!