Lamb Ragu with Pasta Rags

, from Issue #23. September, 2015
Photography by Nick Tresidder.
Lamb Ragu with Pasta Rags

In order to use these pasta ‘rags’ you will have to make and roll your own pasta, unless you have a good fresh pasta store nearby. However the ragu can also be served with papardelle, tagliolini or any sort of tubular pasta.

Serves: 4


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot, diced
1 stick celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
100 grams bacon, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
600 grams boneless lamb leg steaks, diced 1 cm pieces
2 tablespoons tomato paste
finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
1 cup red wine
1 x 400 gram tin crushed Italian tomatoes
1 1⁄2 cups chicken stock
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To serve
small handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
freshly grated Parmesan
1⁄2 quantity pasta dough


Preheat the oven to 160°C. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Cook the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, fennel, bacon and rosemary until the vegetables are very tender and lightly caramelized. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the lamb and cook over a high heat until lightly browned. Stir in the tomato paste and the orange zest and juice, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any brown bits.

Add the vegetables back to the pan, along with the wine, tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Cover and braise in the oven for about 3 hours or until the lamb is meltingly tender and the sauce is rich and reduced. Season well.

Pasta: Roll the pasta into thin sheets. Cut into irregular pieces.

Cook in plenty of boiling, well salted water until al dente. Drain well.

Place a spoonful of ragu in the base of each dish and top with a few pieces of pasta, folding them as you go. Repeat with another layer of pasta and sauce. Scatter with parsley and serve with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan.