Hearty, meaty, and totally comforting, this lamb ragu served on rigatoni with ricotta cheese is a great family meal you can have on the table in about 30 minutes!
You're going to love this!
- Quick & easy - the quick ragu sauce comes together in about 25 minutes with making this pasta dish perfect for any night of the week!
- Hearty & Filling - this sauce is rich and hearty and it's guaranteed to fill up even the hungriest eater!
- Rich and delicious - just a few simple but quality ingredients combine together to make a meal that rich and super flavourful.
- Ground lamb - If lamb isn't your thing, you could swap this out for beef,
- Pancetta - optional, but highly recommended! If you don't use this, add a splash of oil to the pan before you saute the veggies.
- Carrot, celery, and onion - the flavour base for the ragu.
- Crushed tomatoes - look for San Marzano tomatoes if you can find them, otherwise normal crushed tomatoes will be just fine.
- Garlic - always use fresh!
- Italian seasoning - If you don't have this handy, add your own blend of basil, oregano, rosemary, sage and marjoram.
- Balsamic vinegar - adds a touch of sweetness and depth to the sauce.
- Rigatoni - I love rigatoni for sauces like this because it holds up well to the weight of the sauce, but you can use your favourite pasta.
- Ricotta cheese - also optional, but highly recommended!
How to make it
Fill a large pot with heavily salted water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. While you wait for the water to boil, begin cooking the sauce.
Heat deep saute pan to medium-high heat and add the pancetta. Let it cook for a minute or two until the fat begins to render out, then add the diced celery, onions and carrot. Season with salt and pepper, then let the veggies cook for a couple of minutes until they are soft.
Tip: Dice your veggies finely so that they cool quickly and blend into the sauce well.
Add the ground lamb to the pan and brown while breaking up the pieces with the back of a spoon or other tool.
Add the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, garlic and balsamic vinegar and stir well to combine everything. Let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Add the cooked rigatoni to the sauce and mix well to combine.
Use a spoon to place dollops of ricotta across the top of the pasta then place the pan under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is warm and browned, then serve.
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Lamb Ragu with Rigatoni & Ricotta
- 12 oz rigatoni
- 1⁄4 cup diced pancetta
- 1 onion - diced
- 2 ribs celery - diced
- 1 carrot - diced
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 25 oz crushed tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 7 oz ricotta cheese
- Heat a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions.
- Heat a large saute pan to medium heat and add the pancetta. When it has rendered out most of the fat, add the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the ground lamb and break it up into pieces. brown.
- Add tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and balsamic vinegar.
- Cook for 20 minutes.
- Add the cooked rigatoni to the saute pan and mix well. Top with ricotta cheese and broil until the cheese is melty and golden,
* nutritional information is calculated by online tools and may not be 100% accurate.
This was perfect for our pasta evening - we loved the flavours!
It was my first time making a lamb ragu, but I will definitely be making it again!
That makes me so happy! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.
There's soooo much flavor in this recipe that we all licked our plates clean and some went back for seconds! A hit!
I'm so glad you loved it that much!
Yum! I love cooking with lamb, and this ragu looks delicious. Making it for dinner soon.
Thank you! Enjoy!
What a flavorful and super quick midweek dinner! Thank you!
You're so welcome!
Michelle Boule says
This was a great dinner. We haven't had lamb in a while so this hit the mark!
I'm so happy you enjoyed it!
I love cooking with lamb. And the ricotta adds so much richness and creaminess.
It's such a nice touch, isn't it?
This recipe is wonderful, I made my own pasta with duck eggs to go with it and slow cooked lamb shoulder steaks off the bone. It’s to be using lamb burger.
Audrey Davison says
Absolutely loved this. Happened to be looking for a recipe with ground lamb & I'm so lucky to have found this one!!! Had to sub some meaty bacon & sour cream, but can't wait to make this again exactly as written. For me, this was a surprising & delightful change to beef. Thank you, Courtney, for this delicious recipe!