This meaty, slow simmered sauce goes well with spaghetti or tagliatelle, but can also be used in a lasagne. The milk helps to thicken the sauce, while also making it quite rich. It’ll soon become a family favourite!



30g (1oz) butter

2 tbsp olive oil

100g (31⁄2oz) pancetta, diced

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 celery stick, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

400g (14oz) lean beef steak, minced

100ml (31⁄2fl oz) hot beef stock,

plus more if needed

2 tbsp tomato purée

400g can chopped tomatoes

salt and freshly ground black pepper

75ml (21⁄2fl oz) milk, warmed

450g (1lb) dried pappardelle

Parmesan cheese, grated, to serve


Serves: 4

Prep time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 2hrs



1. Melt the butter with the oil in a deep,heavy-based saucepan and fry the pancetta for 1–2 minutes. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic, and continue to fry, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until softened but not browned.

2. Stir in the meat, breaking up any lumps, then cook for a further 10 minutes, or until evenly coloured, stirring frequently. Add the stock, tomato puree, and tomatoes, season to taste, then bring to the boil.

3. Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan, and simmer very gently for 1. hours. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking, adding more stock, if necessary. Stir in the milk, cover, and simmer for a further 30 minutes.

4. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the pappardelle and simmer for 8–10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain well, spoon the meat sauce over, and serve with freshly grated Parmesan.


Tip – For a richer sauce, cook the vegetables and pancetta in step 1. Replace half the minced steak with 200g (7oz) of lean pork mince and 100g (31⁄2oz) of dried macaroni, and continue with the recipe as above.


Mediterranean Cookbook


Recipe: Mediterranean Cookbook, Editor-in-Chief Marie-Pierre Moine, DK, £20, dk.com