Herby Lamb Bolognese

Everyone’s favourite pasta dish, bolognese. If you ask around most people will have their very own recipe for this famous Italian classic, and I guarantee each person will claim that theirs is the best. Well like all those people I’m about to make that same claim. It’s difficult to convince people to try a recipe that’s so famous that everyone already has their own version. Therefore I’ve decided to present to you my bolognese with a twist! A version like no other and one that everyone will love.

Bolognese essentially is a meat based sauce and in Italy is usually served with either a thick pasta like tagliatelle or short tube shaped pasta like rigatoni. Yes you read correctly, NOT spaghetti! We made that one up and between you and me, I’m glad we did because I LOVE it. That’s one thing I’m not changing in this recipe. The meat is the main change I’ve made in my version. The meat we usually associate with a bolognese is mainly beef and sometimes pork, however I’ve decided to use lamb in mine instead and you know what, it works really well.

As well as using lamb, I’ve also thrown in some fresh rosemary and thyme, a whole red chilli and some balsamic vinegar for some additional surprises and twists. To me cooking is all about invention, creation and taking risks. Some won’t like this idea but with so many flavours, ingredients and tastes out there to experience in the world, why not try mixing it up a bit sometimes. I can eat a normal bolognese in any Italian restaurant, any day of the week. Where are you going to find a Herby Lamb Bolognese?

Herby Lamb Bolognese


(Serves 4)

Olive oil
400g lamb mince
1 onion, finely sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
250ml red wine
400g chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 sprig of rosemary
2-3 sprigs of thyme
1 tablespoon tomato puree
Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Salt and fresh black pepper

Serve with fresh pasta and parmesan


  1. Heat a couple of glugs of olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion over a medium to high heat until soft. Add the carrot, garlic and chilli and fry for a further minute.
  2. Crumble in the lamb mince and mix well. Cook until well browned.
  3. Add in the sprigs of rosemary and thyme followed by the tomato puree and mix together. Then pour in the red wine and turn the heat up to high. Bring to boil and then reduce the liquid by a third.
  4. Pour in the chopped tomatoes, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, 200ml of water and the bay leaves and bring to a boil. Turn down to a gentle simmer and leave to cook for an hour stirring once or twice.
  5. After an hour season with salt and pepper and then add your favourite cooked pasta to the pan. Mix well making sure the sauce coats all the pasta and then serve with a generous amount of fresh parmesan!


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