Sicilian Tomato–Meat Sauce

  • Serves

    makes About 7 Cups

This sauce is more delicate than the familiar bolognese sauce—it's perfect on pasta or with the Sicilian Rice Timbale.


  • 2 28-oz. cans Italian plum tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and minced
  • 14 lb. cremini or other white mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 34 lb. ground veal
  • 14 lb. ground pork
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • pinches freshly grated nutmeg
  • 14 cup loosely packed fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Step 1

Puree tomatoes in a food mill set over a large bowl. Scrape pulp into bowl, then discard seeds. Set tomatoes aside. Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 20 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, stir in mushrooms, and cook for 5 minutes. Add veal and pork, breaking up lumps with a wooden spoon, and brown for 8 minutes.

Step 2

Combine tomato paste with 2⁄3 cup water in a small bowl. Reduce heat to medium, then add tomato paste mixture to sauce and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in sugar, nutmeg, basil, and tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low, season with salt and pepper to taste, and gently simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, for 40 minutes. Adjust seasoning. To store sauce, cool to room temperature, then store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 1 year.

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