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lamb ragu with pasta in a white bowl

Quick Lamb Ragu - Easy Mid-Week Pasta

Quick Lamb Ragu - a fast and tasty weeknight-friendly lamb ragu recipe, using lamb mince (ground lamb). Lamb ragu in 1 hour!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Modern Australian
Keyword quick lamb ragu, lamb ragu recipe, lamb ragu, lamb mince
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 304kcal
Author Lee-Ann Grace | Chef Not Required


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500 g lamb mince (ground lamb) 18 oz
  • 2 bacon rashers roughly chopped
  • 1 medium brown onion diced
  • 1 large carrot finely diced
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves crushed/minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds ground (see my notes)
  • ¼ finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ cup red wine
  • cups beef stock
  • 400 g tomato passata
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • In a heavy-based pot, heat olive oil (2 tsp) then add diced onion (1 medium) and finely diced carrot (1 large). Fry over medium-low heat until softened. Then add crushed garlic cloves (2) and fry for another minute.
  • Turn the heat up to medium-high, then add lamb mince (500g / 18oz), chopped bacon (2 rashers), ground cumin (1 tsp), fennel seeds(1 tsp - ground), and finely chopped rosemary (¼ tsp) to the pot and fry until lamb is no longer pink and most of the liquid has cooked off (see my notes).
  • Add red wine (½ cup) and simmer until the wine is reduced - about 2 - 3 minutes.
  • Add tomato passata (400g) and beef stock (1½ cups), then bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer uncovered for 25 - 30 minutes, until sauce is thickened and reduced.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve.


**Looking for more great lamb? Check out my Lamb for Dinner collection - my comprehensive guide to all things lamb and lamb related. It includes choosing the right cut, plus cooking hints and tips, AND all of my lamb dinner recipes in the one place!**
  • Passata is a thick tomato puree (not tomato paste), basically like canned tomatoes that have already been pureed. It works really well in recipes like this is because you get a thick, rich tomato-based sauce without the extra cooking time that would be needed for canned tomatoes to break down.
  • You may think beef stock is a strange ingredient to pair with lamb, as a lot of recipes would call for chicken stock instead. I prefer to use beef stock because I think the more robust flavours of beef stock really match the strong flavour of the lamb giving you a rich, full-bodied end product. 
  • Please don't skip the time that is needed to cook off most of the liquid that is released from the lamb mince as it fries. This will really concentrate the flavour and will make a big difference to the finished dish.
  • I use a pestle & mortar to grind up the fennel seeds. The reason I do this is because I can't buy fennel seeds already ground-up here in Australia! If you have this product where you live then feel free to use it. You will need less than 1 tsp in this case because it's already ground.
*Please note that the amount of calories per serve is provided as a guide only, as ingredients and cooking methods can vary greatly*