The secret to spectacular lamb ragù is time. Stir a short list of ingredients together and let them bubble away until the individual flavors meld and blossom into something greater. It was my Italian friend Giovanna who taught me this. We took a cooking class from her when we visited Tuscany where she taught us to make authentic Italian beef ragù and stressed, in her words, “remember you have to follow slowly all the steps, never be in a hurry…”
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I’m not much for recipes that require a lot of tedious preparation. This lamb ragù is no exception. It does take about an hour to cook, but almost all of the time is hands-off. Cut up a few ingredients, get the ragù going and then pour yourself a glass of wine. Then just check back once in a while to give the sauce a stir. That’s my kind of fussy.
You can serve this delicious lamb ragù with any kind of pasta you like; I’m partial to pappardelle or tagliatelle. It’s also wonderful over rice and I always top it with a sprinkle of sheep’s milk feta and slivers of fresh basil or mint.
Lamb ragù is a hearty and simple pasta sauce recipe that is wonderful served over pasta or rice. Top with feta and slivered fresh basil or mint.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 rib celery chopped
- 1 carrot chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 pounds lean ground lamb
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 28 ounces whole tomatoes with juice
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- sheep's milk feta crumbled, to taste
- fresh basil or mint cut into thin slivers, to taste
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Cook and stir until onion is translucent.
Add lamb; cook and stir until almost cooked through. Add wine and increase heat to medium-high. Let cook, stirring occasionally until wine has nearly evaporated. Add tomatoes, stirring them into mixture and breaking them into smaller pieces. Bring to boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until ragù is thick and flavors have fully melded, 1 hour or more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve lamb ragù over hot cooked pasta such as pappardelle or tagliatelle or over hot cooked rice. If desired, top with crumbled feta and fine slivers of fresh basil or mint.