- 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 450 gm coarsely minced lamb or mutton (see note)
- 250 ml dry white wine, such as fiano
- 500 gm dried fusilli
- 75 gm Parmigiano-Reggiano (see note), finely grated
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- 1Heat oil in a large saucepan over low-medium heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add onion, carrot, garlic, bay leaf and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (15 minutes). Increase heat to medium-high, add lamb and fry, stirring occasionally, until almost cooked (5 minutes). Add wine and simmer until evaporated (5 minutes). Add 250ml warm water, then reduce heat to low, cover with a lid, and simmer, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed to keep the pan from drying out, until lamb is browned and flavours are infused (1-11/2 hours).
- 2Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water according to packet instructions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 litre pasta water. Add pasta and half a ladle of pasta water to the ragù, and stir to coat, adding a little more pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed. Season to taste and serve immediately topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano and lemon rind.
Mutton gives this ragù a stronger flavour than lamb; it's available to order from select butchers. Cicolini uses 60-month aged or 36-month aged Parmigiano-Reggiano. If it's unavailable, substitute with Parmigiano-Reggiano made from the milk of vacche rosse (red cows), which is available from cheese shops such as Formaggi Ocello.
Drink suggestion: Rich red Montepulciano. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.