Orecchiette with lamb and mushroom ragu

by Leah Halmagyi


  • 1kg lamb shoulder, diced
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, finely diced
  • 12 cloves garlic, minced
  • 500g button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp celery seeds
  • 1 Tbsp dried porcini mushrooms, chopped
  • 2L beef stock
  • sea salt flakes and freshly-milled black pepper
  • 400g orecchiette
  • 1 cup finely-grated Parmigiano
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 bunch mint leaves


1 Fry the lamb pieces in half the olive oil in a saucepan over a high heat for 5 minutes, until well-browned. Set aside. Sauté the leek and garlic in the remaining olive oil for 3 minutes, until softened, then mix in the mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes, until dry.
2 Return the lamb pieces with the celery seeds, porcini mushrooms and stock, then bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 2 hours, until the meat is tender, then transfer the liquid to a second saucepan and boil until thickened, then pour back onto the meat.
3 Cook the orecchiette in a large saucepan of rapidly-boiling salted water until al dente, then drain well and mix into the lamb ragu with the Parmigiano, spinach and mint leaves. Serve.