Fresh Tomato-Pancetta Meat Sauce


Rather than opting for jarred spaghetti meat sauce, top your pasta with this surprisingly quick bolognese sauce recipe. It tastes like it has simmered all day, but this fresh tomato meat sauce takes just 40 minutes start to finish!

pot of Fresh Tomato-Pancetta Meat Sauce
Photo: Andy Lyons
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
3 1/2 cups sauce


  • 1 pound lean ground beef or uncooked ground turkey

  • 2 ounce pancetta, chopped

  • cup finely chopped onion (1 small)

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 pound fresh roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (about 3 cups)

  • ½ cup dry red wine

  • 1 - 2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ½ cup snipped fresh basil


  1. In a large saucepan cook ground beef and pancetta over medium heat until meat is brown, using a wooden spoon to break up meat as it cooks. Drain off fat. Stir onion and garlic into meat mixture in saucepan; cook for 3 to 5 minutes more or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally.

  2. Stir in tomatoes, wine, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in basil. Cool slightly and transfer to freezer containers. Seal and freeze for up to 3 months.*

  3. To serve, thaw sauce in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until simmering, stirring occasionally.


If you prefer, cool sauce slightly and transfer to airtight storage containers. Cover and chill for up to 3 days. To serve, transfer to a medium saucepan and heat as directed.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

177 Calories
8g Fat
7g Carbs
16g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 7
Calories 177
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 44mg 15%
Sodium 263mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 15.4mg 77%
Calcium 35mg 3%
Iron 2.1mg 12%
Potassium 539mg 11%
Folate, total 21.5mcg
Vitamin B-12 1.1mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.3mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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