Over Easter weekend I spent a wonderful 48 hours with my extended family up in Pittsburgh. This has become a tradition for me since I moved to Baltimore and if the mouth watering Lamb is served every year, I’m sure ill be back for many to come! This Easter the meal was complete with pickled beets, brussel sprout slaw, roasted leg of lamb, roasted potatoes and loads of appetizers to keep us out of the kitchen.
Needless to say, there were many leftovers after we all had our fill. I was eagerly waiting with a to go container and a guilty smile as I ensured myself many leftover meals for the coming week.
When I got home, I had tons of leftover lamb that I wanted to turn into new recipes for the week. I knew Ragu was an easy meat sauce so I tested my hand at Lamb Ragu with Cheesy Ricotta. A certain magic happens as the beef and aromatic vegetables slowly cook down with wine, tomato paste, and broth in this aromatic ragu recipe.
Unlike other Italian meat sauces, this ragu is simmered over a couple hours to melt together all the flavors resulting in a delicious red wine sauce with a hint of lamb, rosemary, and aromatics.
After researching multiple ragu recipes, I substituted the cooked leftover lab and this recipe was born! The benefit of having leftover lamb is that it was already roasted with generous flavoring and seasoning. This added another layer of depth to the sauce vs. using ground lamb and having to season along the way.
I tossed the sauce with cavatappi pasta, topped it with a generous amount of Pecorino Romano Cheese mixed into a dollop of ricotta cheese. Lets just say I had multiple bowls as I couldn’t stop eating the lamb ragu with cheesy ricotta. SO Yummy!!!
Lamb Ragu with Cheesy Ricotta
Easy; 30 minute prep, 2 hour cook time
Description: Flavors melt together as this lamb ragu simmers over 2 hours using a mixture of lamb, red wine, aromatic vegetables, and rosemary. Topped with Cheesy Ricotta this is one for the books! Perfect for Easter Dinner .
- 2 cups chopped leftover leg of lamb (or a package of ground lamb, cooked through)
- 2 carrots diced
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped
- 2 Tbs tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- 1 sprig of rosemary chopped
- 1 16 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 box Cavatappi pasta
- Pecorino Romano cheese
- Chop vegetables and lamb into similar size pieces
- Brown onions, carrots, and garlic in pan with 1tbs oil. Season with salt and pepper
- Add in tomato paste and saute for 30 seconds to cook down tomato flavor
- Deglaze the pan with red wine
- Add in the chicken stock, rosemary, and crushed tomatoes
- Simmer on med/ low heat for 2 hours covered until sauce is a thick consistency. Uncover for the last 10 minutes. (Add more chicken stock if too thick)
- In the last 20 minutes, boil pasta according to box. Drain and set aside
- Toss pasta with sauce, cheese, and top with a dollop of ricotta (optional)
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