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pappardelle with slow cooked lamb ragu

Updated: Oct 24, 2021

Pappardelle are a stunning shape of Pasta larger than tagliatelle. They are one of the very few traditional pasta shapes from Tuscany, where they are often served with a rich hare stew (pappardelle con la lepre).

Since hare is not so common in Australia, today we are going to cook them with a rich slow cooked lamb ragu'.


Makes 5 serves - Preparation time 1 hour - cooking time 3 hours + 3 minutes to boil pasta

Egg dough to make pappardelle:

  • 280g 00 flour + 20g semolina wheat flour (or 200g all-purpose flour)

  • 3 eggs

Lamb ragu':

  • 1kg lamb shoulder, cubed into 10-12 pieces

  • salt and black pepper

  • extra virgin olive oil,

  • 1 brown onion, diced

  • 1 carrot, diced

  • 2 celery stalks, diced

  • ¼ cup red wine

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary

  • 8/10 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 2 large spoonfuls tomato paste

  • 2 x 400g cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed

  • 600ml vegetable stock

  • 200ml milk, optional

  • Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated and preferably aged for 24 months.


For lamb ragu, the cut of choice is obviously lamb shoulder. A tough cut that holds up beautifully to slow cooking. Once it is cooked, lamb shoulder shreds beautifully & stays very tender. Plus the fattiness of the cut adds a ton of rich flavor to the ragu.

BROWN THE LAMB Use paper towels to pat the lamb as dry as you can and season with salt and black pepper. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the lamb for 3-4 minutes each side until lightly browned. Do this into 2 batches if all the lamb doesn't fit in the pan.Transfer to a plate to rest.


In the same pan where you have browened the lamb, add onion and cook, stirring, until it has become translucent, then add chopped carrot and celery. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring vegetables to coat well.

Put the lamb back into the saucepan, add all the herbs - bay leaves, rosemary and thyme - and stir well.

Add wine and let it evaporate over high heat. When it comes to wine, you’ll want to use something that’s drinkably nice. You do want to use something that complements the flavors of the ragu really nicely without competing with it.

Add tomato paste, whole peeled tomatos and stir well, cooking for 1 minute. Lastly add the stock. Cover and bring to the boil over high heat. Turn the heat down and let the ragu simmer away on the stovetop. Simmer for 2 hours and 30 minutes or until sauce is thick and meat is tender.

Once cooked, discard the herbs. Transfer lamb to a large plate and using 2 forks, coarsely shred the lamb. Remove and discard the fat and bones. Add the shredded meat back into the tomato mixture and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.

One final, but very important step, is to finish the slow cooked ragu with milk. Add the milk to the saucepan, stir well and cook for a further two minutes.

Now your ragu is ready to hug those beautiful pappardelle!


While your ragu' is cooking let's make the pappardelle.

Place the flour in a bowl. Make a well in the center and crack the eggs into it.

Gently combine eggs with flour using a fork from the middle outwards.

With your hands, gradually incorporate the flour from the outside of the well toward the center, kneading gently until the mass of dough comes together.

Put the dough on a wooden surface and knead it until it is smooth and resilient _10 15 minutes-

Cover the dough and place it in the fridge to rest for at least half an hour before using.

After the resting time, dust the work surface with some extra flour, take a portion of dough the size of a large orange and press it out flat with your fingertips.

Set the pasta machine at its widest setting, (usually '0, but it depends on the kind of machine you use).

Pass the dough through the rollers once.

Fold the resulting strip into thirds.

Roll the pasta dough through the widest setting 2 or 3 times, till your dough has a rectangular shape and is smooth. Lightly dust the pasta with flour if it is at all sticky.

Narrow the setting of the pasta machine to position '1' and roll the dough through.

Continue passing the dough through the rollers, reducing the thickness by 1 setting each time until it reaches the desired thickness (I usually do 7 on my Marcato Pasta Machine. Pappardelle are should be thicker than tagliatelle) It should now be very delicate, elastic to the touch and slightly translucent.

Now cut the pasta sheet into smaller 15 cm long sheets. Working with one sheet at a time cut them into 2 cm stripes with a sharp knife or a pasta cutter wheel.

Once you have made the pappardelle, leave them to rest on a wooden board or a tray lined with a tea towel.

Sprinkle with flour and leave until you are ready to cook them.


Bring a large pot of salted water (a spoonful for each litre of water) to the boil.

Add pappardelle, and stir gently with a wooden spoon, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain, and toss with the sauce in a frying pan. Add a few tablespoons of the pasta water, a drizzle of olive oil and combine together.

Garnish with some fresh rosemary and freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Enjoy!


We loved this pasta, and paired it with a wonderful Dolcetto d’Alba from Borgogno Winery from Piedmont!


Hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, please let me know your thoughts and tag me on my Fb page Pasta Journey or my Instagram _pastajourney_ . I would love to hear from you!

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