Rapid Ragu

Much to my husband's horror, when I am feeling fragile and in need of coziness and comfort, my favourite supper is a bowl of mince/ground[ meat with some grated cheese on top, eaten by greedy, grateful spoonful out of a cereal bowl. I have dispensed with much of the usual, necessary chopping: I use cubetti di pancetta (that's how they're sold at my local supermarket) and a little caramelised onion from a jar. This is everything you could hope for, sweetly salving and as undemanding to make as it is rewarding to eat.]

Total Time:
30 min
10 min
20 min

4 servings

  • 2 tablespoons garlic oil
  • 1 cup cubed pancetta
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/4 cup caramelized onions *available at gourmet and specialty stores as Onion Confit, or recipe follows
  • 1/3 cup Marsala
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup green lentils
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup grated red Leicester or Cheddar, optional
  • Heat the oil in a wide, medium-sized saucepan, and fry the pancetta until beginning to crisp.

  • Add the lamb breaking it up with a fork in the bacony pan as it browns.

  • Tip in the caramelized onions, Marsala, tomatoes, lentils and water and bring the pan to the boil.

  • Simmer the ragu for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Sprinkle over the cheese before serving, if using.

Caramelized Onions:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 cups sliced onions (about 2 medium size onions)

  • Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until the onions are a deep golden brown and soft, about 25 to 30 minutes. Make sure to use a gentle heat and cook the onions slowly so they don't burn. Onions will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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