Cavatelli with Warm Summer American Lamb Ragu



Lamb pasta


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound American ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound dried pasta, like cavatelli
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • Freshly grated pecorino romano cheese


Place a large pot of water over medium high heat and bring to a boil.

Then place a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onion and season it with salt and black pepper. Sauté it until the onions are just tender - about 3 minutes, then add the American lamb, oregano, paprika and crushed red pepper. Break the lamb up with a spoon and stir until the raw color is just cooked out. Stir in the peas.

Meanwhile, salt the water quite well with salt and add the pasta, cooking until it is al dente. Add the wine to the lamb and stir, allowing it to simmer until the liquid has mostly evaporated.

Add tomatoes to a blender along with a pinch of salt, olive oil, and the two garlic cloves. Blend until it is smooth. Once the wine has evaporated, turn off the heat.

Drain the pasta and add it to the pot with the lamb, allowing some of the water to cling to the pasta. Stir in the tomato mixture, herbs and butter and season the pasta to taste with salt.

Serve in wide bowls, topped with pecorino romano and drizzle of olive oil.

USDA recommends the following time and temperature parameters

Ground Lamb

Internal temperature of 160°F

All Other Cuts

Internal temperature of 145°F, with a 3 minute rest

thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.

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