Simple pasta recipes with a focus on flesh…

pasta with meat sauce ragu

Looking for authentically Italian meaty treats? Then the simple pasta recipes here should be just your thing.

Pulling together all my family-in-law’s juiciest and most protein-filled pasta dishes, these pages include such easy classics as:

Spaghetti bolognese

• My particular favourite, spaghetti and meatballs

• Baked winners like rigatoni with béchamel and bacon sauce

As with all the meals on this site, these are simple pasta recipes suited to cooks of every level. I hope you love them as much as me!

(Got your own meat pasta recipe? Share it here!)

Spaghetti and Meatballs spaghetti_meatballs

I honestly think I could eat this dish every day and not tire of it! The sauce is just packed with so much tomato flavour and the balls themselves... mmm, they are so delicious, and impossible to mess up. (For a meatball-only recipe page, click here.)

Spaghetti Bolognese

About as traditional as it gets, this recipe will have you making an ultra-beefy sauce that uses far less tomato than many US and UK versions (and definitely no mushrooms!). Try it, I think you’ll love it.


Baked Béchamel Rigatoni

Arguably the most filling dish on this site and a real treat for dairy lovers, this béchamel-based creation redefines the phrase ‘simple pasta recipe’. The only real task here, other than actually buying the ingredients, is stirring the milk sauce – so be sure to warm up your arm first!


Mightily Moreish Pasta with Ricotta

This pasta with ricotta recipe is one of those that you learn once and then make over and over again. In fact it's the one Laura and I make most regularly. With its bacon, onion and tomato sauce, this delightfully rich and creamy dish is a true 'lifer'. It takes just 30 minutes.


Pugliese Orecchiette Pasta

This recipe combines 'little ear' orecchiette pasta with celery and garlic in a tight roll of cooked beef. A real dish of contrasts, taught to me by lovely 'seniora' Rosetta Chirico.


Sausage Ravioli With Tomato Sauce

A great recipe for readers looking to move beyond the 'pasta-and-sauce' stage of Italian cooking, this dish packs thin fresh pasta parcels with tasty sausage and onion, before smothering it all in delectable tomato and basil sauce. It takes a little while, but it's really worth the effort. (Also check out the ravioli recipes here.)

traditional italian pasta with meat sauce recipe
Pasta with meat sauce, AKA ragu-lite

Molten pork sausage-meat and rich tomato sauce, cooked in a slow 'ragu-style'? Sounds good to me. It really doesn't get more delectable than this tastebud-friendly winter warmer.

easy italian ragu recipe Lazy day ragu recipe

If you have the whole day free and want to learn a true Italian pasta classic, give this slow-burning ragu recipe a try. It takes hours, but that's a good thing - it means the taste just gets better and better!

amatriciana sauce recipe Pasta with spicy amatriciana sauce

Bacon and chili combine in this classically fiery Italian dish. Knock it out in just 40 minutes, then prepare to feel its power!

chicken cannelloni al forno Beef & chicken cannelloni

A real meat feast, this tubular treat packs in ground chicken, beef and mortadella ham, then smothers it all in creamily mouth-watering bechamel sauce. Simple to prepare and oh so filling, this one's perfect for mid-Winter.

bacon pasta 4 P's bacon pasta

This real easy bacon pasta combines the punch of small-chopped pancetta (belly bacon) with the scrummy nutrition of fresh veggies. The result is a moreish and seriously munchable meal.

Extra recommendation: Fancy a fruity roast lamb feast for dinner? Then check out my friend David's roast lamb recipe, from the pages of his excellent Cutting Edge Mediterranean Recipes site.

Look out for many more simple pasta recipes hitting this page in coming weeks. Until then, buon appetito and let me know how you get on…

Even more meat recipes...

In addition to the dishes above, many of the other recipes on this site feature pork (usually bacon chunks or ‘pancetta’ in Italian) as an optional ingredient.

Use the box below to search out more of these meaty meals (simply search for 'optional bacon', 'optional pancetta' or just 'bacon').

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