Ragu with Milk & Green Tagliatelle

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves



Appears in

Limoncello and Linen Water

Limoncello and Linen Water

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2012

  • About

This makes a good and richer-than-usual ragù, on account of using milk instead of water. I love it. For some reason it is wonderful with green (spinach) tagliatelle.

You can make this the day before if you want to break up the load — keep in the fridge and just heat through to serve the next day with your pasta.


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) beef
  • 1 Italian pork sausage, about 100 g (3½ oz), skinned and crumbled
  • nutmeg, for grating
  • 185 ml (6 fl oz/¾ cup) red wine
  • 300 g (10½ oz) tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) milk
  • 1 quantity green tagliatelle
  • freshly grated parmesan, to serve


Heat the oil in a non-stick deep frying pan and sauté the chopped vegetables until they are a bit golden. Add the garlic and sauté until it smells good, then add the minced beef and sausage and sauté until golden and sticky looking. Add salt and pepper, and an exceptionally good grating of nutmeg and turn through well. Add the wine. Let it reduce to almost nothing and then add the tomatoes, let ting the flavours meld for a few minutes. Add the milk and bring back to a simmer. Cover with the lid, lower the heat and simmer for about 1¼ hours, until it is lovely and thick and saucy. If it is too dry in the end, add a little milk and keep going.

Warm a large serving bowl. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta, dropping it in gently and distributing it evenly so it doesn’t clump in a ball. From when it returns to the boil it should take 4 minutes or so to become tender, but taste to check. Scoop out the pasta with a spaghetti fork and toss gently with the hot sauce in the warmed serving bowl. Add a little of the pasta cooking water to help it along its way. Serve at once in warm wide pasta bowls, scattered with grated parmesan.