Lamb Bolognese

This hearty lamb bolognese is the perfect stick to your ribs winter dish. Full of spices, ground lamb and just a touch of rich red wine.

Disclosure: This recipe is sponsored by Anolon. I received financial compensation and free cookware to create this recipe. As always, all opinions and ramblings are my own.

Growing up I didn’t eat a lot of pasta. If we were lucky we would have the stuff maybe once a month. This wasn’t because I didn’t like it (what kid doesn’t like pasta?) it was because my dad has a serious dislike for all things Italian food. Of course growing up in Ohio, Italian food basically means spaghetti with meat sauce.

I’m sure there are some authentic Italian neighborhoods in Ohio but I can assure you there were none located Fremont, Ohio.

Although we do have a Heinz ketchup and a sauerkraut factory. So there is always that.

When I moved to New York I felt like I was thrown into a world of pasta. People at the stuff weekly. Shoot, most ate it daily. I went a little crazy on the stuff and craved it every single day for the few months. I would eat it with butter and Parmesan cheese, covered in homemade meat sauce and even topped with homemade chicken soup. I was basically the opposite of a Atkins diet.

I’m now back to a more healthy pasta consumption (maybe once or twice a month) and instead of boring old meat sauce I like to jazz things up with my pasta toppings. This lamb bolognese is like a meat sauce but 100% more flavorful. Instead of ground beef I opted to instead use ground lamb. It has a nice strong flavor that can hold up to the rich tomatoes and chewy red wine. Plus I don’t get a lot of chances to make lamb so I’m always looking for ways to bring it into my kitchen.

The hardest part about making this recipe is remembering to add in more water and having the patience to not eat it all right out of the pot. Plus it smells amazing while it’s cooking. It’s basically a savory version of a Yankee Candle.

I served mine over fresh pasta but it would be great over gnocchi as well.

Lamb Bolognese

This hearty lamb bolognese is the perfect stick to your ribs winter dish. Full of spices, ground lamb and just a touch of rich red wine.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes plus overnight cooling

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours 30minutes


  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 2 large carrots, fine dice
  • 2 celery stalks, fine dice
  • 1 yellow onion, fine dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can whole tomatoes
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound pasta, cooked (e.g. fettuccine, linguine, etc.)
  • Parmesan cheese, for topping


In a large skillet over medium heat, add ground lamb and start to brown. After the mixture is about half browned, add in carrots, celery and onions. Cook until the vegetables just start to soften and the meat is fully browned.

Add in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

To deglaze the pan, pour in red wine and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
Cook for about 5 minutes to cook down a little of the red wine.

Add in tomatoes and break apart in the pan.

Add in thyme, tomato paste and 2 cups water. Mix together until combined and cover the pot with a lid. Simmer on low heat until the mixture has cooked down and is thick. Add in remaining 2 cups water, repeat process. This in total should take around 2-3 hours.

Add in milk and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 minutes until thick and delicious.

Keep sauce warm while pasta cooks. Serve atop fresh pasta with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.