Heat a 14-inch sauté pan (with a lid) over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the olive oil, swirl the pan and add the beef. Season it with a healthy pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Stir and brown it on all sides.
Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and herbs, and stir.
Add the red wine and let it reduce to a tablespoon or so.
Add the tomatoes, 2 cups of water, and the dairy (if using). Stir, taste, and add salt and pepper as necessary. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the pasta. Shake the pan to spread the pasta evenly across the pan, and bring it all back to a boil.
Put a lid on it, place it into the oven, and set a timer for 20 minutes.
When the timer sounds, remove the pan from the oven, remove the lid, stir and taste a piece of the pasta. If it is still crunchy, put the lid back onto the pan and put it back into the oven for another 10 minutes.
Remove the pasta from the oven. Top with lots of Parmesan and parsley and serve.