Beef & Pork Ragù Tagliatelle


Prep Time: 


Cook Time: 



  • 2 - 4 People


From my earliest days I strove to move away from the uniform Bolognese sauce that was ubiquitous. A change that made real impact was to include milk. I first saw this in Italy where I was surprised how half a litre of milk could give such a sweet creaminess to the sauce. A second common change was to omit the much-favoured tins of tomatoes and put in just a small amount of tomato purée. This allows the meat to take centre stage. The final result is a hearty, warming sauce ready to coat flat strands of pasta.
Serves 4

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra as required
  • 2 small onions, finely diced
  • salt
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 100g unsmoked streaky bacon lardons
  • 450g beef mince
  • 225g pork mince
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 120ml white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 small sprigs rosemary
  • 600ml chicken stock or Marigold bouillon
  • 250ml full fat milk
  • 320g tagliatelle
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • freshly grated Parmesan


To prepare the ragù

  • Heat the oil in a large casserole pot. When hot, add the finely diced onion.
  • Stir, season with salt, cover with a lid and turn down the heat to low.
  • Allow to sweat, stirring regularly, until the onion has become translucent and is completely tender. This process will take about 10 minutes.
  • Add the finely diced carrot and celery to the pot, stir to mix and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes to soften the vegetables.
  • Increase the heat and mix in the bacon lardons.
  • Sauté over a medium heat until the fat renders out and the bacon becomes lightly coloured.
  • Increase the heat to high and add in the beef and pork mince. Brown the meat, stirring regularly until the meat loses its pink colour.
  • Season, stir in the tomato purée and then pour in the white wine. Boil the wine until it has reduced almost to a glaze.
  • Add the bay leaves, rosemary sprigs and stock, bring up to the boil and then turn down the heat to the very gentlest simmer.
  • Allow to cook for about an hour or until reduced by at least half.
  • Bring the milk to a simmer and add to the meat.
  • Cover the sauce with a lid, leaving it slightly ajar, and continue cooking for a further 30 minutes or so at a gentle bubble, adding more stock if the ragù becomes too dry.
  • Remove the bay leaves, the sprigs of rosemary (or the rosemary needles if they have fallen off) and discard.
  • The sauce will keep in the fridge for 3 or 4 days or for a number of months in the freezer.

To prepare the pasta

  • Bring a large pot of pasta water with about 4 litres of water to the boil.
  • Add 1½ tablespoon salt and return to the boil.
  • When the tagliatelle is cooked about 90% through, drain, holding back some of the pasta water.
  • Meanwhile, heat the ragù in a frying pan and bring to a gentle simmer.
  • Add the butter and swirl to combine.
  • Add in a good dash of pasta water and the pasta.
  • Simmer until the sauce coats the pasta loosely.
  • Towards the end, mix in a fistful of Parmesan and grate some more to bring to the table.


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