Lamb Ragu over Tagliatelle
Definitely don’t wear anything white while cooking the lamb ragu, the sauce tends to splatter while it simmers. White shirts with red lamb sauce splatter all over them are not cute, neither is that dry cleaning bill. I crave thick hearty dishes like this in the winter when it is cold out and this one is perfect for just that. It makes the house smell delicious and the lamb becomes very tender as it simmers in the sauce.
4 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, diced into 1” pieces
Salt & pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 cups red wine
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 (28-ounce each) cans crushed tomatoes
5 fresh thyme sprigs
3 bay leaves
2 pounds tagliatelle pasta
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Pat the lamb dry using paper towels and season the meat on all sides with salt and pepper. To remove remaining moisture, lightly dust the lamb with flour, shakimng off any excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sear the lamb until browned on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes so that it is browned but not cooked through. Place the seared lamb on a paper towel-lined plate to allow excess fat to drain. Set aside.
Deglaze the pan with red wine, scraping up any bits of meat from the bottom of the pan using a spoon. Allow the wine to simmer and reduce by half, about 15 minutes; set aside.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook until the onions become translucent. Add the reduced red wine, tomatoes with their liquid, thyme, bay leaves, and pieces of lamb. Cover the pot and simmer on low, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is tender, about an hour. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil; add salt and bring back to the boil. Pour in the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and return the pasta to the pot. Ladle in the enough of the lamb ragu to coat the pasta, then stir in the crushed red pepper flakes.
To serve: ladle the pasta with sauce into warmed pasta bowls, topping with extra sauce if desired. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.
Note: The sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.