Lamb Ragu with Pasta Shells (Conchiglioni) Lamb Ragu with Pasta Shells (Conchiglioni)

Lamb Ragu with Pasta Shells (Conchiglioni)

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This heart-warming dish has been created by Sarah Woods from I Love Cooking Ireland. It’s suitable as a slow cooker recipe or in a large casserole dish one the hob. Large pasta shells work well with ragu because it holds a pocket of delicious meat sauce in each forkful.

Preparation: 20 mins 
Cooking: 120 mins
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • 800g diced lamb
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 60ml red wine
  • 2 x 400g tins of tomato
  • 500ml lamb or chicken stock
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 250g conchiglie pasta shells
  • Parmesan, to serve
  • Heat a large pot over medium-high heat then add the oil. Tip: You can also use a large shallow cast iron casserole or braiser pot.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the lamb and brown meat on all sides. Remove the meat and set aside.
  • Add the red wine and scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the carrot, celery and stir in the tinned tomato, stock and sugar. Add the browned lamb, bay leaves and thyme and season lightly with salt and pepper. Tip: Depending on the salt in your stock, it’s best to add only a very light sprinkling of salt, then add more, if needed, near the end of cooking.
  • Semi-cover the pot with its lid then reduce heat to medium-low and leave to cook for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally, until sauce lamb is tender and the sauce has thickened.
  • Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions then drain the pasta and add it to the lamb ragu, giving it a gentle toss through the sauce.
  • Serve with grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
  • Tip: If you are using your slow cooker, reduce the stock to 150ml. Brown the lamb as in the recipe, then add this to the slow cooker pot along with the remaining ingredients (don’t worry about sautéing the onion and garlic, they can go in raw.) Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.

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