Pasta with meat sauce is one of the easiest things to make, yet few people do it. This sauce is really rich with flavor, and once you put all the ingredients together, it requires nothing more from you than an occasional stir every now and then.
1/4 cup olive oil
3 strips bacon, finely chopped, raw or pre-cooked
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 lbs ground beef (I use grass-fed beef)
2 cans (28 oz each) whole tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon anise seed
1 teaspoon fennel seed
2 bay leaves
1 small can (6 oz) tomato paste
In a large pot, heat the olive oil and add the bacon. Once the bacon is sizzling, add the onions and cook until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic salt and mix. Add the ground beef and cook until it has browned.
Pour the 2 cans of whole tomatoes into a food processor and blend until chunky…or go the old-fashioned route and simply squeeze the tomatoes with your hands, breaking them up. Pour the contents of both cans into the pot and stir well. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the orange tomato foam disappears.
Add the oregano, basil and parsley and stir. Add the salt and pepper and stir. Add the anise seed and fennel seed and stir. Throw in the 2 bay leaves and stir. (I think you get the idea, there’s a lot of stirring going on!)
When the sauce starts to boil, add the tomato paste and stir well. Let it come up to a boil again–the paste thickens best at high heat–then turn the heat down to a simmer and cover the pot.
Let the sauce simmer for several hours. Whenever you walk by, give the sauce a good stir.
Serve over pasta, with some grated Parmiggiano Reggiano.