youtube pinterest twitter facebook instagram vimeo Bookmark Entries BURGER NEW Chevron Down Chevron Left Chevron Right Basket Speech Comment Search Video Play Icon Premium Nigella Lawson Vegan Vegetarian Member Speech Recipe Bookmark Comment Camera Scales Quantity List Reorder Remove Open book
Menu Signed In
More Nigella recipes

Rapid Ragu

by . Featured in NIGELLA EXPRESS
Print me

Introduction

When I am feeling fragile and in need of cosiness and comfort, my favourite supper is a helping of minced meat with some grated cheese on top, eaten by greedy, grateful spoonful out of a cereal bowl.

I have dispensed with much of usual, necessary chopping: I use cubes of pancetta and a little caramelized onion out of a jar. This is everything you could hope for, sweetly salving and as undemanding to make as it is rewarding to eat.

When I am feeling fragile and in need of cosiness and comfort, my favourite supper is a helping of minced meat with some grated cheese on top, eaten by greedy, grateful spoonful out of a cereal bowl.

I have dispensed with much of usual, necessary chopping: I use cubes of pancetta and a little caramelized onion out of a jar. This is everything you could hope for, sweetly salving and as undemanding to make as it is rewarding to eat.

Rapid Ragu
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Serves: 4

Metric Cups
  • 2 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil
  • 125 grams pancetta cubes
  • 500 grams minced lamb
  • 75 grams caramelized onions
  • 80 millilitres marsala
  • 1 x 400 grams can chopped tomatoes
  • 75 grams green lentils
  • 125 millilitres water
  • 50 grams grated cheddar cheese (or red leicester)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic flavored oil
  • 1 cup pancetta cubes
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • ¼ cup sweet onion confit
  • ⅓ cup marsala
  • 1 x 14 ounces can diced tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup green lentils
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese (or red leicester)

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a wide, medium-sized saucepan (which has a lid), and fry the cubed pancetta until beginning to crisp.
  2. Add the lamb, breaking it up with a fork in the bacony pan as it browns.
  3. Tip in the caramelized onions, Marsala, tomatoes, lentils and water and bring the pan to the boil.
  4. Cover with the lid and simmer the ragu for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with the cheese (if using) before serving.
  1. Heat the oil in a wide, medium-sized saucepan (which has a lid), and fry the cubed pancetta until beginning to crisp.
  2. Add the lamb, breaking it up with a fork in the bacony pan as it browns.
  3. Tip in the sweet onion confit, Marsala, tomatoes, lentils and water and bring the pan to the boil.
  4. Cover with the lid and simmer the ragu for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with the cheese (if using) before serving.

Tell us what you think

What 8 Others have said

  • I loved this recipe and made one addition. I spooned the finished Rague into a square tin and covered it with mashed potato sprinkled with grated cheese to make it like a cottage pie. I could not find caramelised onions in my supermarket, so I bought a jar of pickled onions. I drained them, then sprinkled some brown sugar over them, then fried them in pan as per the recipe. Divine!

    Posted by trudieann on 2nd June 2015
  • Can i cook with red lentils instead off green ?

    Posted by Cathytutu on 27th November 2011
  • I'm a huge fan of Nigella - as a person as well as for her super-tasty recipes. With regard to her recipe for Rapid Ragu, I have to say I found it to be somewhat bland. So, the next time I made Rapid Ragu I added red wine instead of the water (as recommended), four anchovy fillets, a tablespoon of concentrated Lemon Juice and a pinch of Thyme. The result - not too bad at all, folks.

    Posted by ericojazz on 20th March 2014
  • I'm so glad my other half thinks he doesn't like lentils - it means I can cook this and keep it as my guilty pleasure! Such a treat. Absolutely delicious.

    Posted by izzygrace on 14th March 2014
  • Sometimes, I've discovered, is that we can make cooking just too darn complicated! This dish, served with "Potatoes Overload" was so delish! My husband and I sat on the couch and scoffed the lot! It was just too easy.

    Posted by MummaG on 11th December 2013
  • This recipe is great. I do sometimes add some grated carrot and zucchinni. I have been inspired by Nigella's bolognese risotto. To bulk this out even further and to get a carb hit, once the ragu is cooked, I add extra water and risoni pasta. Very, very comforting in the dead of winter.

    Posted by craig74 on 27th May 2013
  • This is such a great dish - so quick & easy & it tastes fantastic! When I cook for fussy children I substitute bacon for the pancetta & minced beef instead of the lamb. After the beef is browned I sneakily add a grated carrot & grated zucchini, stirring & cooking it down a little before continuing with the recipie. I serve the ragu with the cheese in soft white rolls & dub it "sloppy joes" to the kids - they love it!

    Posted by MissV'sKitchen on 22nd May 2012
  • This recipe is DIVINE!!!! It truly is comfort food, I was rushed and quickly through it together for dinner for my family and it was an absolute hit! Nigella, darling, you truly are a domestic goddess. A god send! xoxo

    Posted by alex.shaw2 on 4th October 2011
Show more comments