Open source pasta sauce

Pasta sauce

This is my pork and beef mince pasta sauce recipe, heavily inspired by my Grandma’s recipe. I cook it in a casserole dish with a lid in the oven for about 4 hours. This is not quick food, but it’s well worth the wait and this recipe makes about 6-7 big portions, suitable for freezing.


  • 500g pork mince
  • 500g beef mince
  • a little olive oil
  • 2 onions
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 4 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 140g cans tomato purée
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • Couple of fists full of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Chop the onions and fry them in the olive oil for 5 mins (don’t brown them)
  2. Finely chop and add the garlic and fry for a few more minutes
  3. Add the pork and beef mince, fry on a high heat until it’s no longer pink
  4. Tear up the basil into little bits and add to pot
  5. Add everything else, mix well and bring to boil
  6. Put lid on pot, put in pre-heated oven at 150 degrees Celsius
  7. Cook for 4 hours, stirring once an hour or so

It’s interesting to taste the sauce as it cooks – it really does get better and better the longer you cook it. I used to cook it on a regular stove top but it required almost constant stirring to avoid burning so now I cook it in the casserole dish. Maybe your stove can go lower than mine. A friend tried it with a slow cooker (after frying everything on the stove) and said it works just fine but I’ve yet to give that a go myself. My Grandma used to just sit and stir it all day.

If you like it wetter, add some passata. You can probably leave out the brown sugar – I’ve not really been able to tell a difference with or without it myself.

Serve with some pasta, with plenty of Parmesan cheese and black pepper.

UPDATE: I’ve changed the recipe from 1kg pork mince to 50/50 pork/beef mince after some feedback from friends, and some experimentation of my own. It’s a lot tastier like this and it turns out, this is actually what my grandma used to do!

UPDATE: I’ve changed the recipe, switching out the “mixed dry Italian herbs” for actual real fresh basil leaves. My mum told me that’s what my Grandma used and it really makes a major difference to the flavour.


Neil Wilson says:

Shouldn’t that be ‘open sauce’?

[…] To return home to a really good batch of pasta sauce. I change my t-shirt so that I can enjoy the spatter of spaghetti without […]

Great recipe – very rustic. Right up my street! Thank you for sharing.

[…] Open source pasta sauce ( […]

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