Noble Pig’s Red Pasta Meat Sauce

 I’m hoping to inspire you to make your own pasta sauce. It’s so easy and so good, especially when you use the best ingredients. Yes, I do open jars too, but I’m always happier when I make my own. Such a flavor difference, there’s really no comparison.

A couple weeks ago, Muir Glen contacted me asking if I would try out a product for them.

Here is what they sent me. Seriously, I thought it was a cute and clever idea. I applaud them for their ingenuity.  I was just expecting some tomatoes, instead they sent a game…a challenge!!! I loved it. Apparently, Muir Glen Organic Whole Tomatoes were recently featured in a blind tasting study in the April 2012 issue of Cook’s Illustrated (which was included in my package). Their whole tomatoes beat out other leading brands such as, San Marzano and Hunt’s on flavor, texture and overall appeal. Muir Glen wanted me to do my own taste test and decide for myself. They marked the above cans A and B and removed the wrappers, including a card which revealed the different tomato brands.

Here’s the funny thing. I already knew Muir Glen was the best and has been the only brand cannned tomatoes I have bought in very long time. You see, I never really knew much about canned tomatoes, I mean, really, I never thought about them. However, when I was getting my winemaking degree at the University of California, Davis, I learned more about tomatoes than I had ever imagined.

It turns out Davis, California was tomato country, and back in the day, a Hunt’s processing plant operated there. Lots of research was conducted at UC Davis about tomatoes. I learned from several professors to always buy canned whole tomatoes and turn it into sauce, as opposed to buying sauce itself. The reason being, the tomatoes used in canned whole tomatoes are required to be riper when they are canned, as opposed to diced or sauce tomatoes. Therefore, is one of the reasons they will taste better.

After I found that out, I started testing out brands and found I preferred the Muir Glen Organic Whole Tomatoes. They had the absolute best flavor. I stock up on these cans since the brand is not carried at every grocery store in my town…makes me crazy. And this is what I use as the starting base of my red pasta sauce.

 So while I loved the package I received from Muir Glen, I already knew they were the best out there. Now I just feel validated, and that is always worth something. Plus, I seriously love receiving cute packages!!

Make your own pasta sauce today, you will love the results. I once asked my very Italian neighbor the secret to her red meat sauce…it was so good. She said one of her tricks was to brown the meat extremely well. As in, not stirring it a lot and letting the edges really brown. I also make sure my meat is well seasoned with salt and pepper. It makes a difference.

Print Recipe

Noble Pig's Red Pasta Meat Sauce

Recipe from: Created by Noble Pig | Serves: 8 cups


  • 2 (28 oz) cans Muir Glen Organic Whole Tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce
  • 1 (6 oz) can Muir Glen Organic Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons dried basil leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon pizza seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 1-1/2 lbs ground beef, 80/20 mixture


  • In a large heavy duty pan, add all ingredients except for the ground beef. Bring to a slight boil and turn down the heat. Cover and simmer on low for two hours, stirring occasionally, using a wooden spoon to break up the whole tomatoes as they cook down.
  • Right before the sauce is done, cook ground beef until done and meat is browned well. Do not forget to season the meat well with salt and pepper. Wen meat is done, drain the fat and add it to the sauce.
  • Serve over your favorite pasta.

Serve with rosemary-garlic bread….to die for!

Disclosure…Muir Glen sent me the two jars of pasta sauce you see above, but did not ask me to write about them on my blog. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Post a Comment

17 Comments and 10 Replies

  1. Totally agree that making your own sauce is so much better than the jarred sauces. It’s very easy and you get to control exactly what’s in the sauce. I also like Muir Glen, but they are so hard to find in my area! Hopefully we’ll start seeing more of them on the grocery shelves here.

    • Cathy 2

      I know, I only have one grocery store that carries them, but it’s worth the trip.

  2. Barbie with a T 3

    I have always made my own spaghetti sauce, but never had used the Muir Glen brand tomatoes. I doubt I would find them here in my town. But I do use canned whole tomatoes instead of the other prepared tomato sauces. My husband prefers meatballs instead of loose ground beef in the sauce, and I do brown them really well before dropping them into the sauce. It does make a big difference also! Thanks for the information, I will look for Muir Glen in the future. I trust your judgement! You are always right on top of things.

  3. NancyC 5

    Looks delicious–I will need to try this sauce out!

  4. Lori E 7

    I have never seen them in British Columbia. I wonder if they are available here. I always love a product referral rather than wasting money on something inferior.

  5. Kate 9

    Wow…I don’t believe that I have seen this brand of tomato, but I have never looked for it so from now on I will keep my eye out. I find the addition of the pizza sauce and seasoning very interesting….I am going to give this a try. Thank you!

  6. Winnie 11

    Can’t wait to try this. I have not used their tomatoes. I have not seen them everywhere, but I will look. I went from store brands, to San Marzano and liked them very much. Can’t wait to compare! Your recipe sounds yummy.

  7. You know, we always use pasta sauce on our homemade pizza. You just made me realize that a homemade sauce would make it so much more amazing!! Thank you for sharing, Cathy!

  8. I like hearing about the taste taste. I still don’t like tomatoes in cans. I can tell the difference, but I do like Muir Glen organic products. Your homemade sauce looks very flavorful using the pizza sauce.

  9. That looks so yummy. Own made sauces are always better if one can get done. You can get a better flavour and as per your taste.

  10. What a fun surprise! Very clever PR folks they have. Muir Glen are great although I usually buy San Marzano. Time for a taste test! So fun – thanks for the idea!

  11. Kim in MD 19

    Your sauce looks delicious! I always use San Marzano tomatoes. I am going to have to keep my eyes open for Muir Glen tomatoes. How adorable was the packaging they sent you? Very clever and so cute! :-)

  12. That looks delicious. I’m trying to make more homemade versions of our staples (like pasta sauce) so I’ll definitely have to try this recipe.

  13. I’m inspired! I’ve never heard of Muir Glen, but I’ll be keeping an eye out for it now.

    New to your blog, so, nice to *meet you ;)

  14. This looks incredible! I love making pasta sauce from scratch, and my meat-eating boyfriend will love this. Can’t wait to try!

  15. Kate 23

    I made the pasta sauce last night! It was totally the absolute best sauce I have ever made. Thank you so much for sharing. If it is okay I would like to repost the recipe next week.

  16. Marjie 24

    Walmart carries Muir Glen. Also, if you can’t find pizza seasoning what is a good recipe for that? Thanks. The spaghetti looks wonderful.

  17. Marjie 26

    I made this red pasta sauce tonight. It was the best sauce I have ever had. Thanks for sharing this recipe and all the great information about the Muir Glen tomatoes. :)


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