Lamb Ragu with Rigatoni


  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 celery rib, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1/2 onion, finely minced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 TBS tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 1 cup whole canned tomatoes, plus 1/2 cup of the juice
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

I’ve become a big fan of ground lamb and love the richness of this tomatoey red wine ragout.


Heat the oil in a deep saute pan over medium-high heat and when hot, cook the lamb, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it browns. When the lamb is browned, add the celery, carrots and onion and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute. Add the red wine and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the ragu is thick and most of the wine has evaporated. Add the canned tomatoes, breaking them up with your fingers as they go in the pan. Stir in the stock and the tomato juice. Add the rosemary, bay leaf, thyme, coriander and cumin.

Reduce the heat and simmer the ragu for about 45 minutes, or until it thickens. Season with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Cook the rigatoni according to the package directions. Drain, toss the hot pasta with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the pasta into individual pasta bowls and top with the lamb ragu. Serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese.