Lamb Ragu On Noodles (Pici Al Ragù Di Agnello)


Yield: 4-6 servings


  • ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 pounds (907 grams) lamb shoulder, cut into ½-inch (1.25 cm) cubes
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) pancetta, diced in small cubes
  • ½ cup (120 ml) diced shallot
  • ½ cup (120 ml) diced celery
  • ½ cup (120 ml) diced carrot
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 ½ cups (350 ml) red wine
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground black pepper
  • 6 crushed juniper berries
  • 2 x 28-ounce (796 ml) cans whole plum tomatoes with juice
  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) tomato paste
  • 1 cup (240 ml) beef or veal stock
  • 18 ounces (500 grams) dried pici pasta, cooked to al dente
  • Pecorino Romano cheese, grated, for garnishing



Heat olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.

Season the lamb with salt and pepper.

Sear lamb in the hot oil and for 5-7 minutes, until evenly browned, then transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add the pancetta to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, until starting to crisp and render.

Add the shallot, celery, carrot, and garlic to the hot saucepan and toss to combine. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until starting to soften.

Add red wine and red wine vinegar to deglaze, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce by half.

Add rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, ground black pepper, juniper berries, tomatoes (with juice), tomato paste, stock, and the cubes of browned lamb. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat and cover partially.

Simmer for 2 hours or until liquid has evaporated by half and lamb is tender and falling apart. Season with salt and ground black pepper.

Serve ragu over pici pasta and top with Pecorino Romano.

Buon appetito!