Lamb Mushroom Ragu
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Dinner

Lamb-Wild Mushroom Ragu

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The fact that Rob was super excited about this Lamb-Wild Mushroom Ragu is really shocking. He HATES mushrooms more than any other food and he was a big player in creating this recipe and suggested the mushrooms. Ultimately, this recipe was the perfect winter date night in. It’s absolutely packed with flavor and pairs perfectly with a nice glass of red wine!

Wild Mushrooms
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Dried Mushroom Types

The key to this recipe is the use of dried WILD mushrooms. I used a combination of Morel, Chantarelle, and Porcini mushrooms. These dried mushrooms have a woody, earthy scent and flavor that compliments lamb and tomato flavors. I also added a some red wine to the liquid to really enhance the natural flavors from the lamb and mushrooms.

I smashed up the mushrooms so that they were in small (read: hard to notice) bits. The whole ragu just melded so well after about 20-25 minutes of simmering. This amount of time is also necessary to allow for the mushrooms to rehydrate and soften. This minimizes the potential for what amounts to mushroom chips in the dry form.

The other fun part of this recipe, that is also totally optional, is making your own marinara base. This allows you to really control the flavor to match your taste. For mine, I used a fennel and onion base along with canned tomato puree. I allowed the sauce to also simmer for about 20 minutes, so make sure you start it first.

Wine Pairing: Goosecross Amerital

Goosecross is easy one of our favorite Napa Valley vineyards. Its pretty small and in the Yountville AVA (known to foodies for French Laundry, Bouchon, and Ad Hoc) but produces wine from grapes grown in several AVAs including Carneros, Howell Mountain, and Rutherford.

During our last trip to CA wine country we went to Goosecross on the recommendation from the staff at a nearby vineyard. It was easily one of the most fun tasting room experiences we have had! The winery makes an awesome mix of white and red wines that made for a nice break from Cab heavy tasting menus. The staff were also a lot of fun, knew the wines well, and just really made the whole experience.

Amerital is an interesting blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese. We received it as part of one of our periodic Wine Club shipments (we joined while we were there based on our experience and love of the winery). Rob picked it to go with the ragu for the Sangiovese and it went so well. It is smooth with a good lingering finish. It has a slightly warm taste and rich notes that complimented the lamb and wild mushrooms in the ragu.


Lamb-Wild Mushroom Ragu

A perfect winter date night recipe full of rich, warm, and earthy notes.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: lamb, mushroom, pasta, ragu, sauce
Servings: 4 People

Ingredients

Marinara Sauce

  • 24 oz Tomato Purre or Sauce
  • 2 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion finely diced
  • 1 Fennel Bulb finely diced
  • 1 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flake
  • 1/2 Tsp Fennel Seed crushed
  • 1/4 Tsp Oregano
  • 2 Thyme Sprigs
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Ragu

  • 1 Lb Ground Lamb
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion finely diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves finely minced
  • 1 Tsp Dried Morel crushed
  • 1 Tsp Dried Chantarelle crushed
  • 1 Tsp Dried Porcini crushed
  • 1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flake
  • 1 Rosemary Sprig
  • 1/4 Cup Red Wine
  • 1/2 Cup Beef Broth
  • 2/3 Lb Tagliatelle
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

Marinara

  • Add a little bit of olive oil to a sauce pan and heat over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and fennel. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and herbs. Cook for another 1 minute.
  • Add the tomato puree and balsamic.
  • Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Ragu

  • In a skillet, saute pan, or braiser, head some olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Added the lamb and cook for 7-8 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, mushrooms, and red pepper flake. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the marinara sauce, wine, and broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat down to low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes. Cook the pasta while the sauce is simmering per package instructions
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