Bucatini with Quick Meat Sauce

This pasta dinner idea features a simple meat sauce that’s bursting with flavor. Ground beef or venison is marinated in milk, then cooked into a hearty pasta sauce flavored with garlic, oregano and an optional pinch of red pepper flakes.


  • 16 oz ground beef or ground venison
  • 2 cups milk (not plant based)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, optional
  • 16 oz bucatini noodles
  • 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided use


Marinate the meat. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef or ground venison with the milk. With your hands, work the milk into the meat until it is well combined. Set aside and wash your hands well.

Set a pot of heavily salted water to boil. This will be your water for cooking the pasta noodles.

Begin making the sauce. Add the olive oil to a large skillet or pan, and warm over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste, salt, oregano and a few dashes of black pepper. If you want to add some heat to your sauce, add a couple pinches of red pepper flakes. Give everything a good stir and cook for another 1 minute or so.

Add the meat. Add the prepared meat to the pan and stir to combine with the other ingredients. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook until the sauce starts to simmer. Lower the heat to medium-low and let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes, until the meat has browned and cooked through.

Cook the pasta. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Return the noodles to the pot you cooked them in.

Finish the sauce. By this point the sauce should be thick but have a liquid consistency, similar to heavy cream. If it has thickened up too much, add some pasta water a few tablespoons at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. Add 1/3 cup of the Parmesan cheese to the sauce and stir it in until the cheese has melted and combined with the sauce. Taste and add additional salt/pepper as needed.

Combine the cooked pasta and sauce. Add the sauce to the pot with the noodles. Use tongs to toss the pasta with the sauce until all the noodles are coated.

Dig in. Serve the pasta with additional Parmesan cheese on top!

Keywords: meat sauce pasta, ground venison recipes, bucatini pasta, quick pasta