Using a mortar and pestle, crush the fennel seeds.
To make the ragù, heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook, stirring, until the onion is soft (approximately 4 minutes). Add the beef and pork mince, then add the ground fennel seeds. Season with salt to taste. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, breaking up any lumps until the meat is lightly browned all over. Stir in the milk and simmer for 2 minutes.
Add the red (or white) wine and cook for about 5 minutes or until the wine has reduced. Add the Italian passata and water. Bring to the boil, then add the tomato paste. Reduce the heat to very low, then simmer for a further 2 hours or until the ragù has reduced to your required consistency. Add more water to the ragù, as needed to keep the sauce lovely and moist. Stir the ragù occasionally so that the sauce does not stick to the pot and burn. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile place a large pot with water on high heat and bring to the boil. Add a pinch of salt and Pappardelle pasta to the boiling water and cook until ‘al dente’ – refer to the cooking time specified in pasta packet instructions. Drain the pasta.
Add the pasta to the stockpot with ragù and toss to combine. Divide among deep serving bowls and serve with grated Parmigiano Reggiano on top – Buon appetito.