If you’re looking for a fancy sounding pasta dish that is secretly REALLY easy to make AND is ready in 30 minutes, you’re in the right place. This recipe for Easy Lamb Ragu will make dinner feel special, even on a Tuesday. Makes 3 servings.
I don’t know why, “Lamb Ragu” makes me think of a luxurious, complicated, special occasion kind of pasta. Maybe because lamb is not something I ever ate growing up in the Midwest, or maybe because Ragu is not a word most of us use every day. “Ragu” is a type of Italian sauce typically made with ground meat and vegetables, cooked in a liquid (like broth, wine, cream, tomatoes, or a combination). If you look at the list of ingredients for this Easy Lamb Ragu, you will see the ground meat (lamb), vegetables (carrot and onion), and liquids (chicken stock, dry red wine, and diced tomatoes). Add in the seasoning and a little tomato paste and voila, we’ve got ourselves a fancy, shmancy pasta dish that’s ready in just a half an hour.
If you’re worried about cooking with wine, don’t be. It’s a very small amount that goes into the recipe and I promise your food will not taste like alcohol. The wine adds an additional flavor component that makes the finished dish stand out. Please do not use any of those cooking wines you can find at the grocery store. Never cook with any wine you wouldn’t be willing to pour into a glass and drink. Which, by the way, feel free to pour yourself a glass of red wine with this dish (but maybe hold off on drinking at the same time you’re cooking).
Easy Lamb Ragu
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 1/2 medium yellow onion chopped
- 1/2 pound ground lamb
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 14 ounce can diced tomatoes including the juice
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup dry red wine I use Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 servings pappardelle or other wide pasta
- Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the diced carrots and chopped yellow onion and cook 3 minutes.
- Add the lamb, coriander, fennel, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir together, then cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
- Add the canned tomatoes with juice, chicken stock and tomato paste, and wine and cook another 5 minutes.
- Add bay leaf; cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, until liquid is reduced and sauce has thickened.
- While sauce is cooking, bring water to boil in large saucepan. Add pasta and cook according to package directions, then drain.
- Add pasta to plate/bowl, then top with lamb ragu. Serve warm.
- Store leftovers in covered container in refrigerator up to 3 days.