This leftover lamb ragu recipe makes a rich, hearty pasta dish, and is perfect for using up leftover roast lamb.
I am a big fan of using up leftovers in family dinners and this is one of my favorite recipes for leftover roast lamb. It makes the perfect easy mid-week meal if you are lucky enough to have had a roast lamb at the weekend.
If you find yourself often wondering what to do with leftover lamb then hopefully you will try this easy recipe.
You may also like: Leftover Chicken Chili.
Lamb for Leftover Ragu
My favorite lamb to use for this leftover lamb recipe is a slow roast leg or shoulder. The meat is softer and breaks up perfectly into the sauce.
However, I have also made it with a butterflied lamb from the barbecue and it is equally delicious.
Usually to make the best lamb ragu, you would need to cook the sauce for a long time to allow the lamb to soften up. The great thing about using leftover lamb is it is already cooked, so this dish is much quicker.
Even so, don’t rush making this dish. Although the lamb is already cooked (for 4-5 hours in the case of a slow roast lamb), you still want to let it soften up in the ragu and absorb all the new flavors.
Herbs for Ragu
I just use a plain old jar of Italian herbs out of my store cupboard for this leftover lamb pasta. If you prefer to use fresh herbs, I would recommend some kind of mix of basil, parsley, rosemary, oregano and thyme.
Which pasta to use
This ragu goes great with lots of different pastas. Probably my favorite would be parpadelle, as I like how the ragu clings to the ribbons of pasta. However, it is also great with penne, as shown in the photos here, or with linguine, spirals or shells.
Stock for Ragu
In this recipe I suggest using chicken stock. I like to use my homemade bone broth as it is super tasty and full of nutrients.
However, any stock will do. If you still have the bones from your leftover lamb leg, then you could make up a stock with it before you start cooking.
Just put it in a large pot with an onion and a couple of cloves of garlic, plus any vegetables you happen to have in your fridge (like carrots, bell pepper, celery), and a sprinkling of herbs. Top it up with water and let it boil for as long as you can, but at least 1-2 hours.
Alternatively, you can use any store bought stock or even a stock cube is fine. Just remember, the better your stock tastes, the better your ragu will be!
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- Heat oil in a large heavy based saucepan.
- Add onions and salt and fry gently until soft.
- Add garlic and cook a further 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, stock and black pepper.
- Bring to the boil and let it bubble away over a medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Add lamb and cook for a further 15 minutes, until lamb is softened and sauce thickened.
- Serve over pasta and top with parmesan cheese.