Pappardelle with Italian Meat Sauce

Pappardelle with Italian Meat Sauce from Order in the KitchenYesterday was Matt’s birthday.  I won’t tell you how old he is, but I will tell you that one of his absolute favorite meals is spaghetti with meat sauce.  He makes it multiple times per week.  Truth be told, this is actually why I started cooking.  I don’t like to eat the same thing over and over again and I thought I could find new things that he would like.  So far, it has worked pretty well.  What I did tonight was his favorite, pasta with meat sauce, but with an upgrade (in my opinion).  Upgrade meaning that the sauce isn’t Ragu and simmers for over an hour instead of being zapped in the microwave for 20 seconds (the pasta also isn’t angel hair and the meat sauce involves more than just ground beef).  But if it makes him happy, he can eat pasta with meat sauce the way he wants, I just thought we should change it up.

Pappardelle with Italian Meat SauceA few months ago, Matt’s sister Juli gave me the cookbook Joy of Cooking which I think (and so does is a staple in every kitchen.  I have on more than one occasion been very happy I have it for all kinds of recipes.  But this book is extra special.  It wasn’t bought in a bookstore or purchased online.  Rather, this cookbook belonged to Matt and Juli’s mom.  The book is a twelfth edition from 1979 and has handwritten notes, food splatters, pages falling out, and smells like an old library book (you know that fantastic smell that old books have?? I love it).



All of these things make this book extraordinarily special.  It has inspired me to do the same for my children as well.  Now, in my new cookbooks, I write little notes in the margins so that when my child wants to make a recipe from my book they will find a note from me, so that they can know “how mom used to make it”.  This book remains one of my favorite gifts I have ever received because of how sentimental it is.  I found it to be the perfect book to use when deciding how to “upgrade” Matt’s favorite meal for his birthday.  I mixed and matched with the recipes in Joy and found a fantastic recipe.  So here it is, pasta with meat sauce, adapted from Joy of Cooking:2931999

Pappardelle with Italian Meat Sauce

Pappardelle with Italian Meat Sauce
The Elements
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 pressed clove garlic
  • 1 lb. ground round steak
  • ¼ lb. ground lean pork
  • 2 cups strained tomatoes (I used this in lieu of Italian tomatoes b/c Matt doesn’t like tomatoes–feel free to substitute)
  • ½ cup Italian tomato paste
  • ½ cup beef or veal stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped or minced
  • ⅓ cup chopped onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium to large sized pot
  2. In a small saute pan, cook the bacon over slow heat
  3. Add in: garlic, ground beef, ground pork, strained tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, bay leaf, bacon, onion and pepper (I actually did not need to use any salt)
  4. Simmer the sauce uncovered for about 1 hour
  5. When the sauce is almost done, begin boiling your water and cook the pasta
  6. Strain the pasta (but do not shock it in cold water!!!)
  7. Remove the bay leaf from the sauce
  8. Place the pasta back in the pot it was cooking in (without the water) and add just enough sauce to coat the pasta (do not just dump the sauce onto the pasta). I did it this way because we had significantly more sauce than pasta. If you have about the right amount of each, then you can dump the pasta into the sauce directly to coat evenly.
  9. Sprinkle with Parmesan or Romano cheese and enjoy!
The Verdict
Matt loved it.  Even though it wasn’t his “typical” spaghetti with meat sauce, it was fantastic and he thoroughly enjoyed it.  I highly recommend making this dish.  We have a lot of leftover sauce which is perfect because I’m leaving town for a few days so now Matt can enjoy his beloved pasta with meat sauce while I’m gone.
Pappardelle with Italian Meat Sauce

And although he is one year older as of yesterday, he’s still a kid at heart.  See below for photo demonstrating Matt’s youthful behavior :)



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  1. Elizabeth @ bowl of delicious! says:

    Yum!! I love me a good pasta sauce, and pappardelle is probably my favorite kind of pasta. I love the way the sauce clings to it. Love that you use different kinds of meat here as well as beef/veal stock… and BACON?! Can’t wait to try!

    • Lynn Lovejoy says:

      Thank you! You really should try it, my fiancé always goes gaga over it :) If you don’t have time, I have a “Weeknight Bolognese” on the blog as well :) Thank you so much for stopping by!

    • Lynn Lovejoy says:

      Thank you Ellen! I’m so in love with this cookbook and now that we are engaged, it is even more special to me, as it is now my “mother-in-law’s” cookbook. Thank you so much for your comment!

  2. Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life says:

    I love that you write in your cookbooks…I do the same…and for the same reason!! :) Actually a few of my cookbooks open directly to a well loved recipe because I have made it so many times. This looks like a great recipe and easy to make too! Pinning! If you have a free moment, I’d be honored if you’d stop by tomorrow night at Foodie Fridays and share it with us! :)

    • Lynn Lovejoy says:

      Hi Michelle! Thank you for commenting! Is Food Friday on Thursday? I’m confused if it’s tomorrow or if you meant Friday? I would love to stop by if you tell me how :)

  3. Sherry Whitefeather says:

    Absolutely love this Italian Meat Sauce recipe for spaghetti. I no longer have my Joy of Cooking cookbook and have searched all over the internet for this recipe. Thank you so much for posting it!

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