Fettuccine with Lamb Ragu' is a lush, comforting pasta recipe perfect for a special occasion, but simple enough to put together for a delicious weeknight meal.
There are times when an average sauce will just not do. There are times when all we find comfort in is a delicious plate of pasta with a luscious sauce. Those times seem to happen almost every day! Fettuccine with Weeknight Lamb Ragù is comforting and so easy to to put together!
Fettuccine with Weeknight Lamb Ragù
Originally published February 2021, and republished February 2022. This is a perfect sauce to make on this chilly February day. Cozy, comforting, and just delicious!
It seems that most Sundays I making a Sunday sauce and it usually has beef ribs or some other meat in it. Most often I am making meatballs (some of the family cannot have sauce without meatballs!!). Usually I make this slow cooker turkey Bolognese sauce. And we all love this skillet lasagna Bolognese...it's so good! I have been craving something with lamb these days and was inspired by a recipe today in the New York Times.
Weeknight Lamb Ragù Recipe
Alison Roman calls Fettuccine with Weeknight Lamb Ragù a go-to sauce to get you through winter. She also calls it a quick ragù. I like to call it a weeknight ragù', as it's a sauce I would dream of having at the end of a busy day (I know some people say sugo, some say sauce, some say ragù). But need to add, it's not a "quick" sauce. It does take time to develop the layers of flavors in this sauce.
The sauce smells incredible as it simmers away.
How long to cook ragu' meat sauce?
Alison suggests cooking it in less than an hour. That is not a true ragu', as it doesn't give the sauce enough time to develop its flavors. I like to cook my sauces with meat a little longer. I made this sauce in about 2 hours.
The longer the sauce simmers, the longer the flavors develop. If you have time to give it a slow simmer, you will love the sauce even more! Since most of the North has been hit with more snow, this is definitely the kind of sauce to cozy up to on a cold winter's day.
IF you want to cook the sauce for a short time, it's simply called a meat sauce.
What pasta to serve with meat sauce?
You could serve this sauce with whatever thicker pasta shape you like. But it goes great with tube shaped pasta like:
Tips to make the best Fettuccine with Weeknight Lamb Ragù Recipe
- Change up the herbs to your taste.
- I used white wine, as that was what I had on hand opened. It gave a nice flavor to the sauce.
- Most of us are anchovy fans. If you feel you can't sneak them into the sauce for your family, it's fine to leave out.
- I certainly did not have time today to whip up my own pasta, but if you are feeling ambitious you have to try this homemade fettuccine recipe!
- I've seen recipes where they add ricotta on top. We are totally content with some grated Parmegiano Reggiano or Pecorino.
Some other Italian recipes to try:
- Italian Meatloaf with Hardboiled Eggs-Polpettone
- Instant Pot Italian Pork Roast
- Italian Lentil Soup
- Rosemary Grissini-Easy Italian Breadsticks
Fettuccine with Weeknight Lamb Ragu'
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 medium sweet onion finely chopped
- sea salt and black pepper
- 4 anchovy fillets optional
- 1 large fresh tomato chopped
- 1 pound ground lamb I used sustainable farm raised
- 1/2 cup white wine or red
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 12 ounces cooked pasta noodles or tubes, for serving (I used fettuccine)
- Parmegiano Reggiano for serving
- A small handful of marjoram oregano or thyme, for serving (optional)
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have become translucent and have totally softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the anchovies, if using, and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add lamb and season with salt and pepper. Add the fresh tomato. Break up the meat with a wooden spoon and stir. Cook for about 8 minutes and then add the crush tomatoesUsing a wooden spoon or a spatula, stir lamb until the fat starts to soften and the meat begins to break down. Continue to cook, stirring rather frequently until the lamb begins to brown and sizzle in its own fat, 5 to 8 minutes.
- Add crushed tomatoes, stirring to scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pot. Fill the tomato can 3/4 with water. Give the can a swirl to gather up any leftover tomato sauce and add that to the sauce. Check the sauce and see if it needs more salt and pepper. Let the sauce simmer for about 1 1/2-2 hours. Add more water (1/4 cup at a time)if it seems to be getting too thick.
- Cook pasta according to their direction. When pasta is cooked, drain well and immediately add some sauce to the pasta. Give it a nice stir to combine it all together. Add a little bit of olive oil on top and stir it up. Add some more black pepper (if you like)and grate on some Parmegiano Reggiano (or peccorino).
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.