Lamb Bolognese with Fresh Ricotta


Carmine's Celebrates

Published by St. Martins Press

Lamb Bolognese with Fresh Ricotta
Lamb Bolognese with Fresh Ricotta
This image courtesy of Alex Martinez

Editor's Note: Planning a celebration? Whether it's for a birthday, anniversary, or other special event, go all-out with this recipe for Lamb Bolognese with Fresh Ricotta. The classic Italian recipe is one that will be a hit with the crowd! This bold and delicious recipe includes a sauce that's hearty and full of flavor. When it's ready to serve, place the sauce on a bed of just-cooked pasta for a meal that's full and satisfying. Your family and friends won't be able to get enough of this delicious meal — just serve with a bowl of salad, and it's ready to go!

Bolognese was one of the original Italian meat sauces, traditionally called Ragu alia Bolognese. We use lamb with our version to add a hint of sweetness and a bit more delicate flavor. The sauce is meant to be paired with broad noodles such as the pappardelle we use in this recipe. A wide, flat pasta surface is perfect for capturing every bit of the thick, sturdy sauce.

Serves4 to 6

Cooking MethodSauteeing



Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionBuffet, Buffet Meal, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get Together, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe CourseMain Course


Taste and TextureMeaty, Rich, Savory

Type of DishPasta, Pasta Sauce, Sauces


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped carrots
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • ½ cup finely chopped white onions
  • 1½ tablespoons sliced garlic
  • 1½ pounds fresh ground lamb (cut from the leg]
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2½ cups canned whole, peeled plum tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese
  • 12 ounces pappardelle, cooked al dente
  • 1 cup fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese


  1. Heat ¼ cup of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onions, and garlic and sauté until the vegetables brown.

  2. In a separate large sauté pan over high heat, heat the remaining ¼ cup olive oil. Add the ground lamb, breaking up the meat into medium-size pieces as you brown it. (Leave the pieces of lamb in one spot in the pan, and when browned, flip each piece over and brown the opposite side.) Add the salt and pepper, 1 teaspoon of the rosemary, the oregano, parsley, basil, and bay leaves and mix well to combine.

  3. Combine the lamb with the sautéed vegetables. Add the red wine and cook until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes, breaking them up as they cook.

  4. Add 1/3 cup of the Romano cheese. Transfer the cooked pasta in a medium bowl or on a deep serving platter, and cover with the sauce. Garnish with dollops of the ricotta, the remaining 1 tablespoon Romano cheese, and remaining ½ teaspoon rosemary.


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