Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onion softens.
Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
Add the minced beef and cook for 5-6 minutes, until browned. Stir often, breaking up any large chunks of meat with a spatula.
Add the tomato puree, oregano, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, beef stock, milk, tinned tomatoes, salt and pepper and stir together and bring to the boil.
Stir in the pasta shells, bring back to the boil, then turn down the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 17-22 minutes, stirring a couple of times during cooking, until the pasta is cooked through.
Remove the lid, then stir in the cream and cheese, until the cheese melts
Serve topped with chopped chives, chilli flakes and grated parmesan.
Can I make it ahead?Yes, you can make the whole thing ahead, then cool, cover and refrigerate for up to two days.Reheat in a pan, on the hob, over a medium heat, stirring often. You'll probably need to add a few splashes of water or stock to loosen up the sauce.Note: As the dish cools, the pasta will continue to absorb liquid, so the pasta will be a little softer upon reheating.Can I freeze it?Yes, leftover portions can be placed in freezer-proof containers and frozen. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat as per the 'make ahead' instructions above.Ingredient swaps/additions
Swap out the beef mince for pork or turkey mince
Swap out the pasta shells other pasta shapes such as rigatoni or spirals
Add in extra veggies - such as chopped courgette or mushrooms (add at the same at the tinned tomatoes), or you could stir in baby spinach for the last minute of cooking.
How to scale down this recipeYou can scale down this recipe to serve 2-3 people by halving the ingredients. It's a good idea to use a smaller pan. The cooking time will be the same.Alternative to creamYou can leave out the cream entirely if you wish. You can add an extra splash of water or stock to loosen up the sauce if you like. Alternatively, you can add a couple of spoonfuls of creme fraiche or 4 tbsp (¼ cup) coconut milk.Nutritional information is approximate, per serving, based on this recipe making 6 servings. Nutritional information does not include toppings.