Lamb ragu

This rich ragu is packed with flavour from the sweet lamb and the soft roasted tomatoes and is a real winner in our house. Team up with your favourite ribbon pasta (tagliatelli or thick pappardelle) or it works brilliantly with gnocchi for an indulgent warming dinner.

The roast tomatoes add a sweetness to the dish that you don’t get with tinned tomatoes. Because you don’t then need to cook them down in the sauce, it doesn’t take any extra time at all.

 Recipe -Serves 2

  • 1 clove of garlic (crushed)
  • 1 large leek (finely sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed chillies
  • 250 grams minced lamb
  • 6 tomatoes halved
  • 2tsp brown sauce
  • 180g dried tagliatelli pasta
  • fresh mint to serve (optional)
  1. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet cut side up, drizzle with oil and season well and bake at 180°c for half an hour. The skins should be nicely crinkled and they should be soft throughout, keep an eye on them after 20 minutes.
  2. After about 10 minutes, heat some oil in a pan and fry off the leeks for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, herbs and chilli and continue for another minute
  4. Add the lamb, breaking up with a spoon and brown for 5 minutes or so, until the lamb is no longer pink
  5. Add the brown sauce, and a splash of water (1-2 Tbsp) stirring while it comes to a bubble then partially cover the pan and cook on low for ten minutes or so while you ready your tomatoes.
  6. Once you are happy your tomatoes are soft remove them from the oven. Tip into a colander over your lamb and push the pulp through with a spoon to dislodge the skins but allow the flesh and seeds into the mixture (or just tip the lot in if you don’t mind the skins…)
  7. Bring the ragu back to a bubble and simmer for a further 5 minutes to combine the flavours.
  8. Meanwhile cook your pasta or gnocchi according to instructions and serve with a little fresh mint.

Top top : to halve the tomatoes quickly, take two plates and lay the tomatoes on one, tipping the other over the top. Slice a long sharp knife between the plates, and voila! Sliced in a trice!

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