Make Ahead

Lamb and Shiitake Ragu

July  1, 2009
4 Ratings
Author Notes

This is an adaptation of my favorite bolognese sauce by Marcella Hazan. There is no better pairing than lamb and rosemary! —Nancy Jo

Test Kitchen Notes

The shiitakes infuse the ragu and your kitchen with a pleasant aroma of wood and earth. Lamb and shiitakes are a lovely and unexpected flavor combination for a sauce, but we think it's the white wine that makes this dish. Red wine, the typical braising liquid for lamb, would have made the sauce seem overwrought and heavy. White wine adds the right acidity and keeps the other flavors nimble yet pronounced. - A&M —The Editors

  • Serves 6
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and finely sliced
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound ground lamb
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 28 ounces can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 pound short pasta like penne rigate
  • freshly grated parmesan or pecorino romano
In This Recipe
  1. In a medium, heavy saucepan or braising pan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter and the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, adjusting heat so the onion doesn't burn. Add the carrot, celery, mushrooms and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms are tender, 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add the lamb, breaking up the pieces with a spoon, and cook through. Add the wine and cook at a rapid simmer until the liquid is nearly gone, about20 minutes. Add the tomatoes, chopping them with a spoon. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer gently until the sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes.
  3. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, return the pan and stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter. Stir in the lamb ragu. Divide among 4 large, shallow bowls, and sprinkle with cheese and pepper.

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