Minced lamb ragu

Minced lamb is a quick and easy mid-week ingredient which I rely upon on a regular basis.  I found a lamb ragu recipe by Giada de Laurentiis which I bookmarked for my mealplan this week.  I decided to make this dish tonight instead of ribolitta as originally planned.  

As soon as I started cooking, I knew this recipe wasn’t going to work for me.  If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that I’m not a fan of canned tomatoes.  I couldn’t find marinara sauce, so I decided to add canned tomatoes, oregano and basil to the dish and slow cook it.  However, the sauce tasted extremely flat and I decided to add some extra ingredients (short of the kitchen sink) to bring it to life. 

I’m sure if I’d had a good marinara sauce to hand, the dish would have turned out beautifully, but my valiant effort to save the sauce wasn’t in vain and the end result was a decent minced lamb ragu.  Here is the modified recipe.

Serves 2


  • 330g minced lamb
  • 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • Fry lite spray
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 400g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp chili con carne mix
  • a good handful of chopped basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cube of oxo vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 250g cooked rigatoni
  • low-fat sour cream (2 – 3 tbsp)
  • a good handful of chopped mint


  1. Heat a casserole dish and brown the lamb
  2. Drain the excess fat/liquid and remove the lamb to a bowl
  3. Spray some Fry Lite onto the pot and brown the shallots and garlic for a minute
  4. Return the lamb to the pot and add the red wine.  Leave to cook for 15 minutes over a low heat
  5. Add the canned tomatoes to the pot, followed by tomato puree, ketchup, chili mix, basil, oregano, stock cube, paprika, sugar and water
  6. Leave to cook over a low heat for 30 minutes so that the flavours in the pot incorporate
  7. Season with salt, pepper and add the grated parmesan
  8. Add the cooked rigatoni into the sauce and turn off the heat
  9. Serve with a dollop of sour cream (original recipe called for ricotta) and chopped mint

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