This easy lamb bolognese is a quick yet amazing pasta dish that's bursting with flavours of fresh thyme and full-bodied red wine. You can serve this rich lamb bolognese sauce over your favourite pasta or toss it in — it's a delicious treat either way!
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An easy lamb bolognese that works great for Easter or just as a welcome change from the same old spag bol, this is a recipe that you'll return to time and again.
It's so easy to make this delicious lamb ragu as you only need to simmer it for 10 minutes to obtain a fabulous taste.
If you have time, you can cook the sauce very gently for up to 1 hour to get that extra depth of flavour, which makes this lamb ragu pasta highly versatile.
This lamb bolognese recipe shines best as a quick and easy everyday meal, though, and you can have it on the table in just 40 minutes.
You can serve it over your favourite shape of pasta or toss the pasta with the sauce.
I love most of my pasta tossed with the sauce because it clings to the pasta as it cools down and thickens, so you can be sure it's well distributed in all serving bowls.
What do you need to make lamb mince bolognese?
Lamb mince — I make this lamb bolognese with lamb mice with 20% fat, but you can use your favourite variety. You'll need 400 g (1 lb) of mince for this recipe that serves four.
Red wine — You need a really nice, full-bodied red wine to get that extra depth of flavour for lamb bolognese sauce.
A dry red like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir all work great. With recipes like this, it's always a good idea to use a wine that you would enjoy drinking.
Fresh thyme — This is the secret that gives this lamb ragu incredible flavour and depth.
I add 1 or 2 tablespoons of finely minced fresh thyme. You can substitute with dried thyme if you want, but you'll really feel the difference if you use fresh herbs here.
Crushed tomatoes — Quality tomatoes are essential for this sauce because you'll be able to taste them in every bite.
Lamb stock — Lamb stock brings out the meat's flavor beautifully, but if you can't find it, you can substitute it with beef stock.
Pasta — I used mafalda corta pasta to make this lamb bolognese because it's a fun type of short pasta that does this type of sauce justice.
Mafalda corta pasta has a ribbon shape with ruffled sides that do a great job at catching the sauce. Spaghetti is the traditional choice for bolognese, but you can use tagliatelle, fussili, penne, or even farfalle.
How to make lamb bolognese ragu?
First, saute the onion and garlic until they are soft and slightly golden. Next, add the lamb mince to the pan and cook until well-browned over medium-high heat, breaking it down with your spoon as needed.
Pour the red wine, lower the heat, and simmer until the alcohol smell is gone. Stir in the tomato paste, thyme, chilli flakes, and crushed tomatoes, then add the lamb stock and bay leaf, and simmer for 10 minutes.
If you have time, add a bit more lamb stock or water and simmer on low heat without a lid for up to an hour to really take this sauce to the next level.
Recipe tips for the best lamb bolognese
- You can add some extra veggies to the sauce, like some chopped carrots and celery. Fry them up with the onion before adding the meat.
- If you want the sauce to have a bit of a kick, you can increase the quantity of dry chilli flakes.
- The meat should be well browned before you add the rest of the ingredients. Be patient and allow it to brown properly to enjoy the best flavours.
- The sauce tastes great the next day. If you plan on saving leftovers for another time, don't toss the pasta with the sauce. Refrigerate the sauce for up to 3 days, then reheat it and serve it over freshly boiled pasta.
If you enjoyed this easy lamb bolognese, you might also like:
- 300 g (10.5 oz) pasta
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 450 g (1 lb) lamb mince
- 4 cloves garlic
- 100 ml (½ cup) dry red wine
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
- ½ teaspoon dry chilli flakes
- 800 g (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 1 lamb stock cube dissolved in 200 ml (1 cup) water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
- Parmesan cheese for serving
- Boil the pasta in salted water according to the instructions on the package. Reserve a cup of pasta water before raining.
- Meanwhile, heat a large pan over medium heat, add the olive oil, and fry the onion for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another 30 seconds until fragrant. Next, add the lamb mince to the pan and cook until well-browned over medium-high heat (approximately 6-7 minutes). Break it down with your spoon as you go and then stir it occasionally.
- Pour the red wine, lower the heat, and simmer until the alcohol smell is gone. Add the tomato paste, thyme, chilli flakes, and crushed tomatoes. Give it a good stir, then pour in the lamb stock, add the bay leaf, and simmer for 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaf, stir in the fresh parley, and season to taste.
- You can serve the lamb ragu over the pasta or toss the pasta with the sauce. If you opt for tossing the pasta and the sauce is too thick, add a bit of pasta water. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 669Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 158mgSodium: 615mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 5gSugar: 12gProtein: 47g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.