Hearty, bold, and full of flavor, this Weeknight Meat Sauce Recipe cooks up in 30 minutes with an abundance of fresh produce and pantry staples, creating a meal that will feed a crowd! Perfect with egg noodles, this dish is finished with fresh scallions, parsley, and a delicious mound of cheddar cheese.
Heat olive oil in a large (14-inch), high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer, or until fragrant. Add beef and cook until no longer pink, breaking up the meat as it cooks, about 7 minutes more.
Add the zucchini, followed by the Italian seasoning, salt, red pepper flakes, and pepper and stir well to combine, cooking for 5 more minutes.
Add the red bell pepper paste, crushed tomatoes, and water, using the water to rinse extra tomatoes from the cans, stir well to combine and let simmer for 10 minutes. Gently stir in the scallions and parlsey until thoroughly combined, then serve over your favorite noodles, top with cheddar cheese, and enjoy!
My favorite part of this sauce is the sneaky addition of diced zucchini. If you don't have any on hand, you can use yellow summer squash or even butternut squash. Alternatively, you can omit the zucchini all together.