Skip to Content

Braised Lamb Ragu with Pappardelle Pasta

Lamb ragu an easy dish that combines minced lamb with sun dried tomatoes and anchovy cooked in red wine, perfect with pappardelle pasta!

As with all classic ragu recipes this first and foremost is a meat sauce and just like all others, this is remarkably versatile. Great on everything from baked potatoes to stuffed in a toastie, you’ll love this!

Lamb ragu with pappardelle pasta and fresh basil served on a dark blue plate.

Lamb Pasta Sauce

You could be forgiven for thinking that me and ragu have a thing going on… and to be honest you would not be too far from the truth.

Gimme a piece of meat and I’ll turn it into a semi traditional meat sauce at some point in time!

This lamb ragu is far from my first rodeo! It joins dishes like slow cooker bolognese sauce, through to wild boar ragu, duck ragu, venison ragu, and beef cheek ragu.

I even have a vegan mushroom ragu and fishy sardine pasta bolognese.

This recipe is super simple on the flavour front, with big flavours that just work with lamb.

We have sundried tomatoes and anchovies and the herbs rosemary and thyme. All cooked in red wine and just enough tomato passata to form a sauce.

A ragu should be a meat sauce and not a tomato sauce with meat.

It is a fantastic rich and bold sauce that is guaranteed to keep you warm all winter.

If you are looking for a different approach to lamb pasta you should definitely check out my take on youvetsi, a Greek lamb and orzo bake!

Over head Lamb ragu with pappardelle pasta and fresh basil.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use lean lamb?

Nooooo! Please do not do that because ragu sauces need fat to give them their glorious mouth feel. Failing to do that will lead to dry balls of meat in a sauce and that is about as rubbish as it sounds.

Look for minced lamb with 15-20% fat.

What is tomato passata?

Ok, so the tomato thing… Depending on where you are in the world this can be complicated.

Tomato passata is essentially sieved tomatoes, no flavouring or seasonings and is called passata almost universally across Europe.

In the US it is called tomato puree and can sometimes be either concentrated or flavoured.

If you can not get neat tomato puree, fear not because you can just blend a tin of tomatoes. It will be a little thinner and you will need to cook it for a little longer so add it to the ragu half an hour earlier.

Do I have to use anchovies?

You don’t “have” to do anything, but do give them a try, they add a subtle rich meatiness to the dish that is irreplaceable with any other ingredient.

Close up lamb ragu with pappardelle pasta and fresh basil.

Serving Suggestions

As you can see, I serve my lamb ragu with pappardelle pasta, made with my own duck egg pasta no less. But store-bought works just as well, I promise!

But is very easy to get bogged down serving ragu sauces with pasta.

They are great with so much more. This is fantastic served over cheesy polenta porridge, and awesome ladled over buttered baked potatoes.

But why stop there?

Make a big batch and spoon it into a toastie or sprinkle some over nachos and whack it in the oven because ragu ain’t just for pasta!

Minced lamb ragu with pappardelle pasta and fresh basil served in a blue plate.

Equipment Used

I only mention sepcific brands of equiopment if I think they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 17cm or 7″ saucepan with a lid.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
  • Slotted spoon, stirring and serving spoons.
Minced lamb ragu with pappardelle pasta and fresh basil.
Yield: 2 Servings

Lamb Ragu Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes

Lamb ragu, a glorious rich and bold meat sauce ideal for pasta, gnocchi or even baked potatoes, this recipe will become a perennial favourite!


  • 300g (10oz) Minced Lamb
  • 1 Small Onion (40-50g)
  • 35g (⅓ Cup) Carrot
  • 35g (¼ Cup) Celery
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 50g (¼ Cup) Sun Dried Tomatoes in Oil
  • 4 Anchovy Fillets
  • 1 Tbsp Oil (The oil from the sun dried tomatoes is perfect)
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • 125ml (½ Cup) Red Wine
  • 150g (1 medium large) Tomato
  • 1-2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary (½ Tsp dried rosemary)
  • 1-2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme (½ Tsp dried thyme)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 75ml (⅓ Cup) Tomato Passata


  1. Dice the onion, carrot and celery as finely as you can.
  2. Heat the oil in a small pan (17cm or 7") over a medium high heat.
  3. Add the lamb and cook until golden, then remove the lamb with a slotted spoon.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add the diced onion, celery and carrot and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
  5. Peel and slice the garlic as finely as you can.
  6. Cut the tomato into a 1cm (½") dice.
  7. Cut the sundried tomatoes into a 3-5mm (⅛-¼") dice.
  8. Add the garlic, anchovies and diced sun-dried tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally.
  9. Increase the heat to high and pour in the wine and reduce by two thirds.
  10. Return the meat, add the salt, tomatoes and herbs and stir to mix everything together.
  11. Reduce the heat to low, add a lid and simmer for 2 hours.
  12. Remove the lid, pour in the tomato passata, and stir.
  13. Simmer on low heat for a final 30-45 minutes or until you get to the texture you desire.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 692Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 152mgSodium: 1043mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 6gSugar: 15gProtein: 45g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Skip to Recipe