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Pumpkin Tomato Meat Sauce

February 12, 2016

     About a year and a half ago, I bought a jar of Butternut Squash pasta sauce at our local Aldi Market. It was so good, crazy good, so I went back the day after we had it and bought the ten remaining jars on the shelf. Unfortunately, those ten jars
PumpkinTomatoMeatSauce2were the last I ever got my hands on, because it never reappeared on the shelves! Still, it did make me reconsider all my ideas about what makes a good tomato based sauce. I’ve tasted and made a variety of tomato sauces, including Mexican, Italian, Greek and Indian, so I know that a good one can have any number of herbs and spices. Adding coconut milk to a tomato curry sauce adds lovely depth of flavor and makes it a little creamy. Adding red wine also adds depth, as does chicken or beef stock. With all this in mind, I decided to make a pumpkin tomato meat sauce today. The verdict…victory! The family and I loved it! It was not a copy of the sauce from Aldi, that wasn’t my intention, but it was absolutely delicious and I plan to make it again.

The recipe


  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 4 med cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbl olive oil
  • 2 C fresh tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground venison
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground allspice (I used 1/2 tsp, but I love it)
  • 2 tbl fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 C red wine
  • 4-5 C tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 C pumpkin
  • 1 C vegetable or chicken stock
  • salt to taste


Heat olive oil in large skillet, add onion and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent. Add chopped tomato and continue cooking until tomatoes are very soft.Put mixture into a bowl and set aside. Add meat to the pan and cook through, using a utensil to break the meat apart and mix it up together well, if using more than one type of meat. Once the meat is cooked through,  put meat into a larger pot, add the tomato-onion mixture and stir to combine over medium heat. Once well combined, add all the ingredients from the oregano  to the stock, stir to combine. Cook over med-low, stirring often, until the sauce starts to bubble, then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring and tasting (add salt if needed), every so often.

*This is a thick, creamy and substantial sauce. If a thinner sauce is desired, consider adding another cup of stock.

Serve over your favorite pasta and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese (I almost always use Parmigiano-Reggiano), if desired.

Makes approx. 2 quarts (8 cups)




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