Paccheri pasta with meat and tomato sauce Neapolitan style

Meat sauce, a simple recipe with a lot of play room! Having a basic and go-to meat sauce recipe is a MUST for every home cook. Meat sauce is very versatile, and everyone has their own way of making it. Whether you use fresh or canned tomatoes, dried or fresh herbs, protein or vegetables, you can modify it based on your taste. You can use it on pasta, casseroles, lasagnas, pizza, over roasted veggies, heck! add it to eggs for breakfast or steamed rice for a quick lunch!

Here’s a recipe we love for Neapolitan Meat Sauce. It starts with a whole cut of meat and it cooks slowly in a mixture of tomatoes, wine (or stock), and aromatics. The finished product is tender meat in a rich and flavorful tomato sauce. Perfect for Sunday dinner and lunch the next day!

Neapolitan Meat Sauce

Makes 6 servings


  • 2 lb boneless beef rump or bottom round
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 basil sprigs
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups fresh or canned peeled tomatoes, seeded and crushed, juices reserved
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 fresh red chile


  1. Season the beef with salt and place it into a 5-quart pot (a Dutch oven is a good choice) over medium heat. Add the olive oil and cover the pot. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes (long enough for the meat to lose its raw color). Add the onion, garlic, basil, and bay leaf, stirring to cook the onions evenly. When the onion is tender, after about 5 or 6 minutes, add the wine. Stir to release any of the drippings that are sticking to the pan. Let the wine cook down until it has nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and the chile. Stir well and bring the sauce to a very gentle simmer over low heat for 3 to 4 hours. Partially cover the pot and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally and adding the reserved tomato juices or a bit of water if the sauce seems too thick as it cooks. The finished sauce should be a deep, rich red color.
  3. The sauce is ready to combine with pasta now, or you could cool and store it in the refrigerator to serve up to 4 days later.



    This meat will dry out in this long cooking period.
    Best is Chuck…


      Hi there — chuck will work well, too, but we’ve had great results with bottom round and rump roast, which are just slightly leaner.


    In step 2 do you leave it uncovered for 3-4 hours, then partially cover it? That doesn’t make any sense.


      Hi there — the note to cover the pot is in case the sauce reduces more than you like, so only if you think the sauce has become too thick.

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