Cooking Old School Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Step into the warmth of a family kitchen from yesteryears with this Old School Spaghetti recipe, a dish that embodies the simplicity and heartiness of traditional home cooking. This recipe brings back the comforting flavors of spaghetti, simmered in a rich, savory tomato sauce with ground beef, garlic, and onions, and seasoned to perfection with herbs. It’s a tribute to the uncomplicated, yet profoundly satisfying meals that have gathered families around the dinner table for generations. Perfect for a cozy family dinner, a casual gathering with friends, or whenever the craving for a classic spaghetti strikes, this old school recipe promises to deliver warmth, comfort, and nostalgia in every bite.


Why You’ll Love Old School Spaghetti:

  • Classic Comfort Food: It’s the epitome of comfort food, perfect for any day of the year.
  • Simple Ingredients: Made with straightforward, pantry-friendly ingredients for an easy-to-prepare meal.
  • Versatile: Easily adaptable to suit your taste preferences or dietary needs.
  • Family-Friendly: A guaranteed hit with both kids and adults alike, making it a reliable choice for family meals.

Ingredients Notes For Old School Spaghetti:

  • Ground Beef: The base of the sauce, providing rich flavor and heartiness. Can be substituted with ground turkey or a plant-based alternative for a lighter version.
  • Tomato Sauce and Paste: Creates a thick, flavorful base for the sauce. Opt for high-quality canned tomatoes for the best taste.
  • Onions and Garlic: Essential aromatics that lay the foundational flavors of the sauce.
  • Herbs: Dried oregano, basil, and a bay leaf are classic seasonings that enhance the sauce. Fresh herbs can also be used for a brighter flavor.
  • Spaghetti: Traditional spaghetti noodles are preferred, but feel free to use any pasta you have on hand.

Recipe Steps:

  1. Brown the Meat: In a large skillet or saucepan, cook the ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain excess fat.
  2. Sauté Aromatics: Add chopped onions and minced garlic to the pan, cooking until softened and fragrant.
  3. Simmer the Sauce: Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, and seasonings. Let the sauce simmer on low heat for at least 30 minutes to develop flavors. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  4. Cook the Spaghetti: In a separate pot, cook spaghetti according to package instructions until al dente. Drain.
  5. Serve: Toss the cooked spaghetti with the sauce, or serve the sauce over the noodles, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Storage Options:

  • Refrigerate: Store leftover sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze: The sauce freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove.


clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Cooking Old School Spaghetti with Meat Sauce



For the Sauce:

  • 1 lb (450g) ground beef
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 23 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional, to balance acidity)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water (adjust as needed)

For the Pasta:

  • 1 lb (450g) spaghetti noodles
  • Water, for boiling
  • Salt, for the pasta water


Prepare the Sauce:

  1. Cook the Ground Beef: In a large skillet or saucepan, brown the ground beef over medium heat until fully cooked. Drain excess fat.
  2. Sauté Onion and Garlic: Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the skillet with the beef. Cook until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add Tomatoes and Seasonings: Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar (if using), oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Add water to reach your desired consistency.
  4. Simmer: Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and let it cook for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. For deeper flavor, let it simmer for up to 2 hours, adding water if the sauce gets too thick.

Cook the Pasta:

  1. Boil the Pasta: While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti noodles and cook according to the package instructions until al dente.
  2. Drain: Once the pasta is cooked, drain it in a colander. Do not rinse the pasta if you want the sauce to cling to it better.


  1. Combine Pasta and Sauce: You can either stir the cooked pasta directly into the sauce or serve the sauce over a bed of pasta on individual plates or a serving dish.
  2. Garnish (Optional): Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves if desired.
  • Author: Maria

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating