Lamb Ragu with Herbed Ricotta

When I was designing this recipe, I knew that my audience was going to be two local foodies and a fellow food blogger (who is also a wine connoisseur.) I knew I wanted to make something that would cook in the crock pot over night, and plate up well after being transported. This recipe really nailed all of those requirements.

When making this dish, I wanted to use only the best, so I headed to Pasta & Provisions on Park. Papparadelle is a larger cut of pasta, but luckily at Pasta & Provisions they will cut their pasta to any shape you want. They also carry my absolute favorite, UAV Cheese, another local Charlotte product.

These both really helped elevate this dish.

As for the wine, Bree of The Modifica, picked the following two bottles to pair with this recipe:
The Investor by Stag’s Leap
– The Investor is a Bordeaux-style wine made of Malbec, Merlot, Petite Sirah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Tasting notes include red, blue and black fruits, and a savory and herbal flavor with hints of oak. This is an investment bottle at $60, and the wine will age well if you can hang onto it and let it mature. The Stag’s Leap District is the most prestigious winemaking area of Napa Valley, and this winery is right in the heart of it.
Kingstree Cabernet – This is a big bold Napa California Cabernet that’s a great deal under $20! I buy this wine at Winestore in Charlotte — it’s one of the proprietary bottles they offer that you can’t find many other places! The structure and tannin in a cab holds up nicely to the rich tastes in the lamb ragu we ate.

Bree also made us a great charcuterie board to pair with our wines!

(note: Only the fresh pasta and focaccia were provided at no cost, but all of the opinions are my own.)

INGREDIENTS

1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes
1 lamb shank or shoulder, bone-in
1 cup dry red wine
1 large yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup tomato paste
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 pound pasta (I used fresh pasta from https://www.pastaprovisions.com/ )
1 cup fresh ricotta (UAV can also be purchased at Pasta and Provisions.)
2 tbsp half and half or milk
fresh herbs (ex: Parsley, Basil, etc.), chopped
Salt

DIRECTIONS

In a saute pan, salt and sear the lamb shank on all sides.

In a large slow cooker, combine seared lamb, tomatoes, wine, onion, and seasoning. Toss to combine.

Cover and cook until the meat is very tender and can easily be pulled apart, about 8 hours on low.

Shred the meat with 2 forks and stir it into the sauce. Adjust seasoning.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. (When cooked, toss with olive oil, or a little of the lamb sauce.)

While pasta is cooking, prepare whipped ricotta: In a bowl, whisk ricotta, milk, herbs, and adjust salt.

Look at all the layers! Pasta, Lamb Sauce & Ricotta!

In a pasta bowl, add pasta. Top with sauce, and a dollop of whipped ricotta. Serve warm with a delicious glass of red wine.

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