Cavatappi al Ragù Bianco | Italian Lamb Ragù Recipe
A "white ragù," i.e. a meat sauce without tomatoes, is a great way to use meat with stronger or gamier flavors. For this recipe, we've used ground lamb and paired it with cavatappi: a pasta shape that is particularly well-suited to thick meat sauces.
Feel free to substitute the pasta shape, but if you can find some cavatappi we highly recommend it!
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:
For this recipe, you will need:
- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 white onion, diced
- 1/2 large carrot, diced
- 1/2 celery stalk, diced
- 2 oz. (60g) pork belly, chopped
- 1/2 lb. (225g) ground lamb
- Fresh rosemary
- Fresh thyme
- Fresh black pepper
- 1/4 cup white wine
- Grated lemon zest for topping
In a skillet, bring the olive oil up to medium/high temperature. Add the onion, carrot and celery and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is tender and slightly transparent.
Add the pork belly and sauté for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Next, add the ground lamb. Brown the meat while breaking it up into a fine crumble with a wooden spoon. Season the lamb with some fresh rosemary, thyme and a pinch of cinnamon, salt and pepper.
After the meat has browned, add the white wine. Bring to a gentle simmer. Partially cover the pan and cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. When the liquid from the wine evaporates, add a little bit of hot water as necessary to maintain some moisture in the pan.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil and salt it generously. Add the cavatappi and cook for half the recommended "al dente" cook time (a 12-minute pasta should be boiled for 6 minutes).
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pasta into the sauce. Add enough pasta water to maintain moisture in the pan and continue to cook the pasta, stirring almost constantly, until it is al dente to your taste. As the pasta nears completion, stop adding water so that the sauce can thicken.
Serve immediately, topped with grated lemon zest. Buon appetito!