The main content
Rachael Ray's Lamb & Pine Nut Ragu with Egg Pasta

Rachael Ray's Lamb & Pine Nut Ragu with Egg Pasta


  • ½ cup pine nuts

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 lb. ground lamb

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 strip of orange zest (once around an orange with a vegetable peeler)

  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped

  • 1 tsp. (about 1/3 palmful) fennel seeds

  • 1 tsp. (about 1/3 palmful) crushed red pepper

  • ½ tsp. ground allspice

  • ½ tsp. ground cumin

  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste

  • 1 can (about 15 oz.) crushed or chopped Italian tomatoes

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • ½ cup sweet (red) vermouth or fruity red wine

  • 1 lb. egg tagliatelle or other long egg pasta (such as fettuccine or pappardelle)

  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano

  • About 2 tbsp. each finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and mint

  • 1 cup sheep’s-milk ricotta or cow’s-milk ricotta

  • Finely grated Pecorino Romano (if using sheep’s-milk ricotta) or Parmigiano-Reggiano (if using cow’s-milk ricotta)


  • Step 1

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

  • Step 2

    In a small skillet over medium heat, or in a toaster oven, toast the pine nuts, stirring often, until golden and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Coarsely chop.

  • Step 3

    In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the lamb. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat with a spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf, orange zest, shallot, garlic, and spices. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot softens, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, stock, and vermouth. Reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer while you cook the pasta.

  • Step 4

    Salt the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook until 1 minute shy of the package directions. Scoop out about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.

  • Step 5

    Discard the bay leaf and orange zest from the sauce. Add the pasta, 1 cup Pecorino Romano, and the herbs. Toss until evenly incorporated; add pasta cooking water if the pasta is too dry.

  • Step 6

    Serve the pasta in shallow bowls. Top with the pine nuts, ricotta, and more grated cheese to mix into the pasta as it’s eaten.