Watch as Everyday Food editor Sarah Carey makes a shortcut recipe for meat sauce. She’ll show you how to speed up recipe prep and give tips for knowing exactly when the ingredients are done.
In a large heavy pot, heat oil over high. Add meat and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add onion, carrots, and garlic and cook until meat is browned and onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add tomato puree, and bring to a rapid simmer.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; transfer 5 cups meat sauce to an airtight container, let cool, then refrigerate for Summer Beef-and-Rice Casserole. Serve remaining sauce over gnocchi, topped with Parmesan and basil, if desired.
Store-bought gnocchi (Italian for "dumplings") cook in just a few minutes, so they're faster than pasta.