1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, cook beef, sausage, and onion over medium heat until mostly browned, about 5 minutes. Drain if desired. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, basil, Italian seasoning, fennel, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more salt to taste if desired (I like an additional 2 teaspoons, but you may prefer less).