This is a somewhat traditional Neapolitan meat sauce that my family has been making just about every week for all of my life. We call it chopped meat sauce, referring to the ground beef that goes into the sauce. It's good over just about any type of pasta and is also used when preparing such dishes as lasagna and eggplant and chicken parmesan. It's especially good with ravioli, tortellini and other stuffed pastas.
Pour olive oil into a saucepan and heat for aproximately one minute on high. Add the onion and stir until the onion becomes browned. At this point remove the onion. (The onion is used for a flavoring device only, it will not be returned to the sauce.) Add the ground beef to the now-flavored oil and stir until brown. Add the tomato paste and stir until the ground beef is completely coated with tomato paste. Next add the crushed tomatoes and water. Next add the salt, basil and pine nuts (if desired) and stir. Bring the sauce to a full boil and then reduce it to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour depending on desired thickness for the sauce. Serves 4 to 6 people.
Note: If a sweeter sauce is desired, add 1 to 2 tsp of oregano when adding the other spices.
years of preparing this on a weekly basis