Lamb Olive Ragu with Tagliatelle

2008 Sep/Oct


  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • 1 pound lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ bunch thyme, finely minced 2 c. beef stock
  • 1  16 oz can crushed tomatoes with juices
  • 1 T. pomegranate molasses
  • ½ c. pitted black olives
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb tagliatelle
  • 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese


In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Sear the meat on all sides until golden brown. Add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic and thyme and cook over medium-low heat until the vegetables are tender and browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beef stock, tomatoes and pomegranate molasses, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low; cover and cook for 1½ hours, or until the meat is very tender.

Remove the lamb from the pan, set aside to cool a bit, then shred it with a fork. Return the shredded lamb to the pan, add the olives, and simmer for an additional 30 minutes to a thick ragu. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove from heat and keep warm until ready to serve with the tagliatelle.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and add it to the ragu; toss over high heat for 1 minute to coat. Plate and serve with freshly grated parmesan. Serves 4.