Baked Lamb Ragù with Macaroni and Three Cheeses

So I have to start this post off with a word that comes to mind...Yum! Geeze o' man is this delicious; I made this tonight for dinner for my son and myself. This is the type of recipe that can be tailored to your own tastes. It would work equally well, for example, with beef or chicken (though I am partial to the lamb) and it doesn't need to be baked after everything is mixed together; it is ready to eat at that point (but you'd miss out on the crispy goodness of the caramelized cheese). And if you want basil instead of oregano, no problem; more or less hot pepper or garlic, also not an issue. You get the picture. Anyhow, the easy-to-make recipe is below, and leftovers taste even better after it has "rested" for a day. I look forward to tomorrow...

Baked Lamb Ragù with Macaroni and Three Cheeses

Makes 4-6 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound leg of lamb, ½ inch diced
1 small onion, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon crushed hot pepper
½ cup red wine
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups tomato puree
½ pound elbow macaroni
½ cup shredded asiago cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat an oven to 350F. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet and add the diced lamb, browning it on all sides. Remove the lamb to a plate, set it aside, and drain any excess fat from the pan that may have rendered from the lamb. Return the pan to the heat and add the onion, carrot, and bell pepper; sauté until just starting to brown, then add the garlic—cooking it for a minute or two—then the salt, oregano, and crushed hot pepper. After cooking for another minute, stir in the wine, broth, and tomato. Bring the sauce to a boil then lower it to a slow simmer. Stir the sauce frequently, and if it becomes too thick add additional broth or water. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni in plenty of boiling water, then drain it thoroughly. Remove the sauce from the heat and gently stir in the macaroni. Stir in half the cheeses (asiago, mozzarella, and Parmesan) into the pasta, and the remainder sprinkle over the top. Bake the ragù at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown.

Urban Simplicity.


charles said…
Hey Joe, I have been reading your blog for a while now. This recipe, I made it last night, has the kids talking about it even today! It was fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

My only suggestion might be to use a dutch oven rather than "large heavy skillet." I found that I ran out of room in the large skillet I used.

Otherwise... this is a keeper recipe for the future.

Joe George said…
Hi Charles,

Wow, even the kids are talking about it. Nice. Thanks for trying the recipe; I'm glad it worked for you. And yes, sometimes I forget that the average household doesn't have restaurant-sized skillets :)