3 pounds ground beef (I used ground round)
2 pounds sausage
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large yellow onions, diced
2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine or stock (your choice)
Two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
One 24-ounce jar good store-bought marinara sauce (you can use another jar if you like the sauce to be more saucy than meaty)
One 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
4 bay leaves
1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley or 3 tablespoons parsley flakes, plus more for serving
1 whole rind from 1 wedge Parmesan, optional
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, optional, plus more for serving
In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef and sausage until totally browned. Chop up as much as you can to get it into little piece's. I use a pastry cutter after it is browned to get small piece's. Remove the meat from the pot with a slotted spoon and put it into a bowl. Set aside. Now create the sauce.
Discard any grease in the pot, but do not clean the pot. You want those tasty bits in the pot for flavor. Drizzle in the olive oil. Use only this type oil. When it is heated, throw in the onions and bell peppers, and mushrooms if you like. Stir it around for 1 1/2 minutes, and then add the garlic. Always put your garlic in last so it does not burn. Stir and cook for an additional minute. Then on to the next step.
Pour in the wine, red or white, and allow it to bubble up and reduce for about 1 1/2 minutes. The wine will start to thicken. Add the crushed tomatoes, marinara sauce and tomato paste. Stir to combine, and then add the sugar, salt, oregano, thyme, crushed red pepper if using and your bay leaves. Stir, and then add the cooked ground beef and sausage and stir to combine. Place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer for 1 hour, don't forget you have to stir occasionally. Your sauce will cook down some what.
Let it rest until you are ready to serve, this lets all the flavors marry. Then about a half hour before you serve, add the minced parsley and the Parmesan rind. Warm up your sauce with the rind. This gives it a nice hit of cheese taste. Discard the bay leaves before serving if you wish or leave it in. This makes enough to use later. Saves great in your freezer. When ready you can use this sauce in other pasta recipes, but also it's great on top meatloaf.