February 20, 2020

Date Night Lamb Ragu Rigatoni

Seriously swooning over this amazing Lamb Ragu Date Night.

What I love about this menu is it’s easy to prep ahead and then comes together quickly when it’s time to eat. It begins with a prep of a braised lamb shoulder with tons of aromatics, tomatoes and cooked to perfection. Shredded and mixed with rigatoni pasta and lots of shredded pecorino cheese. For the menu we decided to start with a little gem spicy caesar salad topped homemade panko breadcrumbs and some wine – seriously the best start.

At this point, the lamb ragu has had a chance to fully develop it’s flavors and is ready to be spooned over rigatoni. We prepped each dish by heating up the ragu with the pasta and a tad of heavy cream and pasta water to bring it back to life. Then served it with pecorino and some chopped parsley.

To end on a sweet note, we served homemade chocolate mousse with homemade whipped cream – which is all able to be made in advance. All I did was take it out of the fridge and serve up. Overall, it was a super successful date night. You can do this for just two people, friends, or a bunch of people and prep head! So dreamy. Light some candles and make sure there is enough wine to go around!

Date Night Lamb Ragu Rigatoni

Date Night Lamb Ragu Rigatoni

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  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 small shallots
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 1 celery finely chopped
  • 2 small yellow onions finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 lbs American Lamb Board Shoulder
  • 1 1/2 cup red wine
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 28 oz San Marzano crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups water or broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic
  • 16 oz rigatoni
  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pecorino and parsley on top


  • To begin, heat a dutch oven with a drizzle of vegetable oil. Cube and brown your lamb on all sides until browned on all sides. Remove from dutch oven.
  • With the heat still on, add in your shallots, carrot, celery, onion and garlic cloves in the pot and sweat for 10-15 minutes. Add your tomato paste and red pepper and let the flavors combine and melt down.
  • Add your wine, balsamic and soy sauce and reduce for another 10-15 minutes. Next, add your crushed tomatoes, water or broth, rosemary, bay leaf and lamb back in. Mix well. Leave on the stove on medium low heat for about an hour.
  • Transfer to a 350 degree oven for another 2-3 hours until the lamb is tender and falls apart. Remove the lamb chunks, shred them and add back in your sauce. This is the time where you can transfer your sauce to the fridge or freezer.
  • To finish your ragu, mix cooked rigatoni and a dash of heavy cream in a pan with your pasta lamb ragu, top with pecorino and parsley, serve and enjoy!
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Every week during the month of February The American Lamb Board will be giving away a gift card to either Airbnb ($300) or Sur La Table ($200). Follow and tag a friend to win, winners will be chosen at the end of the month.

*This post is brought to you by American Lamb Board Thank you for supporting the sponsors that allow lindseyeatsla to create new recipes and content. All ideas expressed are my own.

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