What’s for Dinner: Donatelli’s Meat Sauce - SLO Classical Academy
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Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because, in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

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What’s for Dinner: Donatelli’s Meat Sauce

{photo by Jenny Bischoff}

Donatelli’s Meat Sauce

by Trish Appleby, owner at Donatelli's in White Bear Lake, MN

adapted from foodnetwork.com

Perhaps many of you already have your tried-and-true pasta sauce recipe (or favorite store brand… let’s be honest!), but if you have been looking for a great meat sauce for awhile, as I had been, give this a try! I do often use store-bought marinara or meat sauce, but sometimes I crave a rich, homemade pasta sauce – as long as it doesn’t take all day to cook! This one fits the bill and we’ve been enjoying it a lot lately. I’ve modified it a bit because the original recipe makes a very large quantity. I also usually cook my meat, onions and garlic all together, then add the rest of the ingredients. (Oh, and I don’t always cook it for the full hour that is recommended… it’s still delicious.)


1 pound lean ground beef

1 tablespoon minced garlic

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup diced onions

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

1 (15-18 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

½ tablespoon beef base

½ tablespoon chicken base

¼  cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ teaspoon garlic salt

½  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½  teaspoon dried basil

2  tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


Brown ground beef with minced garlic and salt and pepper, to taste. Drain ground beef and set aside.

Place oil and onions in a saucepan and sauté on high heat until soft. Add all cans of tomato products. Fill the tomato can with hot water and dissolve beef and chicken base in this water. Add this water and base mixture to saucepan. Add all other ingredients and heat through. Once hot, add the browned ground beef and simmer on low heat for approximately 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Serve over your favorite pasta – enjoy!

Click here for a printable pdf of this recipe.

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