It's an easy weeknight recipe made from scratch and takes less than an hour. This is still one of my kids favorites and I absolutely love making this. You can easily double this recipe and freeze it for later.
In a large saucepot, heat the olive oil. Add the ground beef and brown about 8 minutes. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break it up into small pieces while cooking. Drain excess liquid and return the meat to the pot.
Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, basil, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and cook, stirring continuously for about 2 minutes.
Pour in the water and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits of meat or onion stuck to the bottom of the pot. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar and wine. Bring the sauce to a low simmer. Cook, slightly covered, at a low simmer for 30 minutes. As it cooks, stir and taste the sauce a few times so you can adjust the seasoning if needed.
About 15 minutes before the sauce is finished cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil then cook pasta according to package directions. Check for doneness a minute or two before the suggested cooking time.
Take the sauce off of the heat, toss in the cooked pasta, and then leave for a minute so that the pasta absorbs some of the sauce. Toss again, and then serve with fresh basil, parmesan sprinkled on top and garlic toast on the side.
Pro-tip: Cook sauce ahead of time and store in freezer for up to three months.