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Meat Lovers' Sauce with Paccheri or Rigatoni

Meat Lovers' Sauce with Paccheri or Rigatoni


  • Salt

  • 1 lb. paccheri or rigatoni

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • ¼ lb. pancetta, finely chopped

  • ½ small onion, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped or grated

  • ½ lb. hot Italian sausage, casings removed

  • ½ lb. ground beef

  • Pepper

  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds (about 1/3 palmful)

  • 1 tsp. ground or dried sage (about 1/3 palmful) or 1 tbsp. fresh sage, chopped

  • ½ cup red wine

  • 1 can (14.5 to 15 oz.) crushed or diced tomatoes

  • 1 cup beef stock

  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for tossing and serving

  • EVOO, for drizzling


  • Step 1

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water and add the pasta. Cook until 1 minute shy of the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saucepot, heat the olive oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring often, until the fat renders, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the sausage and beef; season with salt, pepper, the fennel seeds, and sage. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the wine and cook until absorbed, just a minute or two. Add the tomatoes and stock and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Toss the pasta with the sauce, cooking water, and a fat handful of cheese. Drizzle with EVOO to taste. Serve and pass more cheese at the table.