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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed lightly crushed (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 28-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes (see recipe note)
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter optional
  • Pasta of your choice cooked according to package directions
  • Parmesan cheese for topping
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