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Danielle Alvarez’s Lamb Ragu with Fresh Pappardelle

This intensely flavoursome and utterly unctuous slow cooked lamb ragu may very well just change your life! The original recipe belongs to acclaimed chef, Danielle Alvarez, but this is my almost identical version using lamb shanks, served with fresh pappardelle pasta. This dish is rich, complex, and one of the most delicious things you'll ever eat!
Servings 8
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 4 hrs


  • Dutch oven
  • Pasta machine (if you're making your own pasta)
  • Sharp knife
  • Tongs
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cutting board


  • 2 kilos lamb shanks (4 x 500g lamb shanks)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 150 g diced onion
  • 3-4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 100 g celery stalk
  • 150 g peeled carrot (minced or diced very small)
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 200 ml red wine
  • 3-4 strips of lemon rind
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 50 ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • 200 g parmasan cheese
  • bunch of fresh parsley
  • salt & pepper for seasoning


  • Pat dry your lamb shanks and season with salt, then set aside to get to room temperature while you prep your other ingredients (finely dicing onion, carrots, celery and garlic). Pre-heat your oven to 165 degrees C.
  • In a large Dutch oven set over high heat, add your olive oil and start browning your lamb shanks in batches. Once browned, removed from the pot and set aside.
  • Add the onions, garlic, carrot and celery into the lamb dripping and turn heat to low. Cook your mirepoix/soffrito (the flavour base made from diced vegetables) for about 15 minutes until softened and lightly golden.
  • Add the rosemary, lemon rinds, and tomato paste and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Next, add in your red wine and vinegar and turn the heat to high. Allow the alcohol to cook out and then add in your stock and meat back to the pot. Bring this all to a simmer and then cover with a lid.
  • Place your pot (with the lid on) into a preheated 165 degree C oven for 3 hours.
  • After 3 hours, remove your pot from the oven and allow the meat to cool a little before pulling the meat away from the shank bones. Discard the bones and the rosemary sprig, and put the meat back into the braise.
  • Bring a very large pot of salted water to the boil and then drop your fresh pasta in. Fresh pasta only takes minutes.
  • Set your dutch oven on the stove over a gentle heat and bring the braise to a simmer.
  • Once the fresh pasta is almost cooked (al dente) take it out of the water with tongs and drop it into the braise and toss evenly to cook.
  • Serve into warm bowls or plates, and top with lots of fresh parmesan, cracked pepper and freshly chopped parsley.


If you don't have red wine vinegar, a small splash of balsamic or white wine vinegar will work well. 
You don't have to make fresh pasta but in my opinion, it just wouldn't be the same dish without the homemade or fresh pasta.