Marinara Sauce with Lamb & Ricotta

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | November 5th, 2009 | Main Dishes, Recipes

Lamb & Ricotta Pasta SauceAfter a trip to our favorite butcher shop, we always are excited to try new recipes.  With a freezer almost overflowing with assorted cuts of beef, pork, veal, and lamb, it can be hard to decide where to begin.  After our most recent trip to the online butcher, my husband mentioned a craving for pasta, and I had been dreaming about lamb, so a combination of the two was the solution.

We made this dinner on a weekday that was filled with gymnastics lessons, karate lessons, and an end of the season cross-country dinner for the kids.  Needless to say, my husband and I wouldn’t be eating before 8:30, and with all of these places to be, cooking time would be need to be limited, unless we wanted to eat even later.  We opted to stick with dinner at 8:30 and simple ingredients.  However, if you have more time, making your own tomato sauce would be a terrific option.

Originally, my plan was to season the sauce lightly in order to bring out the flavor of the lamb.  Although I used garlic, onion, and wine while cooking, it seemed a little, well. . .boring.  A sprinkle or two of red pepper flakes added a nice bite to this sauce and made all the difference, taking it from boring to tasty.  Topping each dish with some fresh basil and parmesan added a nice finish to this dish.

Marinara Sauce with Lamb & Ricotta


  1. 1 Tb. olive oil
  2. 1 yellow onion, diced
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 green pepper, diced
  5. 1-1/4 lbs. ground lamb
  6. 3/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon*
  7. 2 cups chunky marinara sauce
  8. 15 oz. ricotta
  9. 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  10. fresh basil
  11. parmesan cheese
  1. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic and green pepper, and saute for an additional 2 minutes.
  2. Add lamb, and cook until no longer pink, about 5-10 minutes. Transfer lamb mixture to a paper towel lined plate or bowl to remove excess grease.
  3. Return lamb mixture to pan, and add wine. Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until wine has reduced by approximately half.
  4. Add marinara, ricotta, and red pepper, and cook until heated through, stirring occasionally.
  5. Serve with pasta, and top with fresh basil and shredded parmesan cheese.
  1. *Other red wines could be used as a substitute, such as a Merlot or Shiraz.
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