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pasta and lamb

Yesterday it was pasta and beef – today it’s pasta and lamb.

Pappardelle with Lamb Ragu1

What’s going on? Honestly, it’s just a coincidence. This was my Valentine’s dinner gift to my guys. After dinner we went to see The Lego Movie – loved it!

The beef and pasta dinner was a couple of days later. Sometimes we all crave pasta.


The pasta used here is pappardelle which is a large, very broad, flat pasta noodle, similar to wide fettuccine. Pappardelle can be difficult to find in the grocery store. I found mine at Whole Foods.

scissor tomatoes

Tip: This recipe calls for canned diced tomatoes. If you only have canned whole tomatoes, an easy way to dice them is by using kitchen shears and cut the tomatoes right in the can.

This particular recipe is one that I adapted from a recipe I found in Food & Wine magazine.

Pappardelle with Lamb Ragu

Pappardelle with Lamb Ragù

2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole cumin
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
1 celery rib, finely diced
2 pounds ground lamb
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine
28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 pound pappardelle
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint


Place the coriander, fennel and cumin seeds in a spice grinder and process until spices are ground. Set aside.

add lamb

In a large heavy pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the carrot, onion and celery and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 5 minutes. Add the lamb, break up and brown the lamb.

add spices

Once the lamb begins to brown and add the ground coriander, fennel and cumin mixture. Stir to combine and continue to brown the meat.

add wine

Stir in the fresh rosemary and thyme and the tomato paste; season with salt and pepper.  Add the wine and cook until evaporated, 5 minutes.

add tomatoes

Add the tomatoes and their juices, along with the stock and bring to a boil. Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat until the liquid is slightly reduced, 25 to 30 minutes.

stir in pasta

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Drain, shaking well. Add the pasta to the sauce. Add the butter and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and toss over low heat.

Pappardelle with Lamb Ragu2

Serve the pasta in bowls, topped with the ricotta and mint.

Serves 6 to 8

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1 Peggy { 02.18.14 at 7:35 AM }

Love that “Cutting the tomatoes in the can” tip! Thanks.

2 Tram Mai { 02.18.14 at 9:50 AM }

OMG, and I thought yesterday’s pasta recipe was a knock out! I’ll be putting Mama Mai to work on this one!! Where do you buy your ground lamb?

3 Linda Hopkins { 02.18.14 at 9:54 AM }

Tram, I found the ground lamb at Fry’s. I’ve seen it at Safeway too. I’ll have to check Costco and TJ’s the next time I’m there and get back to you on those two. xoxo

4 Tram Mai { 02.18.14 at 10:06 AM }

Good to know- I always get my meats from Costco- so I was wondering if they had it too. If not, I know where else to go! (Love how prompt your responses are!) I have another question- even though it’s not Q & A Friday… you like getting your cheeses at Trader Joe’s versus Costco?

5 Linda Hopkins { 02.18.14 at 10:19 AM }

Oh, I love Costco cheese too. It’s just that sometimes the package/quantity is too big, so I’ll opt for TJ’s instead. Costco has great cheese and I often buy it there too. 🙂

6 plasterers bristol { 07.02.15 at 10:42 PM }

This sounds lovely. Going to give this a go. thanks for sharing this recipe.


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