A really quick and easy recipe, this delicious Italian style Leftover Lamb Ragu is the perfect way to make the most of your lamb leftovers. In fact this recipe is so good it’s worth buying extra lamb just to make sure you have plenty left over!
It’s no secret that I love lamb – I am a huge fan of this delicious meat and I am really looking forward to cooking up a lovely joint of lamb this Easter. But the thing about lovely celebratory meals is there is always lots of yummy leftovers.
I wanted to create a recipe this year that would be perfect for using up leftover lamb – making the most of a delicious joint, whilst keeping it nice and simple and suitable for a weeknight.
This recipe is not just perfect for Easter leftovers, but also for when you have leftovers from your Sunday lunch (or even if you have a cheeky roast lamb dinner midweek!).
And if you don’t have any leftover lamb spare, don’t worry – you can easily ‘create’ some leftovers by quickly frying up a couple of lamb leg steaks. Simply pan fry the lamb leg steaks for 3-4 minutes each side. Rest for 5-10 minutes, then chop into small pieces and continue with the rest of the recipe.
A ragu normally takes an hour or more gently bubbling away on the stove, but using leftovers means this lamb ragu can be done in less than half an hour – perfect for midweek cooking.
Even better, if you have a lot of lamb leftovers you could make a big batch of this and freeze some for another day – making an even speedier meal!
I wanted to make this meal feel like a bit of a treat so I cooked up some delicious Napolina Egg Pappardelle to serve with it, but this fab lamb ragu would work with any pasta shape – so go with whatever you have in the cupboard!
For me the best wine to go with this would be a Chianti or Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, but a Southern French Grenache/Syrah blend such as Cotes du Rhone or Cotes du Roussillon would also work well here. You could even add a splash of red wine to the ragu for extra richness, if you wish!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced finely
- 1 carrot, diced finely
- 1 stick of celery, diced finely
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed or grated
- 600g cooked lamb leftovers, chopped into bitesize pieces
- 350g jar passata (or a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes)
- 300ml lamb stock (from a cube is fine)
- 3 dried bay leaves (or a couple of sprigs of rosemary or thyme, if you prefer)
- Salt and pepper
- 250g pappardelle (or any pasta shape you like)
- Parmesan, to serve
- Place the olive oil, onion, carrot and celery in a wide saucepan or sauté pan and cook over a gentle heat with a lid on for 5 minutes until softened. Stir occasionally.
- Add the garlic and lamb and cook for a further 2 minutes over a low heat.
- Add the passata (or chopped tomatoes), lamb stock, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer (with no lid) for 15 minutes until the sauce is nicely thickened.
- Meanwhile cook your pasta according to packet instructions and drain, reserving a little cooking water
- When the sauce is ready, toss the pappardelle in the sauce along with a little of the cooking water and serve with parmesan cheese to grate on the top, if you wish.
Need advice on how to buy and cook lamb for Easter? Check out these fab tips from an experienced butcher…
Love Lamb? Check out my collection of Easy & Delicious Lamb Recipes
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