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October 20, 2019

Slow-Cooker American Lamb Ragu with Rigatoni


Recipe Provided By
Andrea Slonecker
Prep Time

20 min

Cook Time

-- min

Total Time

-- min


8 to 10

Slow-Cooker American Lamb Ragu with Rigatoni


  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves (or 3 teaspoons dried)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried red chile flakes
  • 1 3-pound boneless American Lamb shoulder roast, halved (see Note)
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 pound dried rigatoni
  • Parmesan cheese, for grating


In a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker, combine tomatoes and juice, wine, onion, tomato paste, oregano, garlic and chile flakes. Season roast with salt; nestle it in the tomato mixture. Cover and cook until the meat is very tender and can easily be pulled apart, about 6 hours on high or 9 to 10 hours on low. 

Shred the meat with 2 forks; stir it into the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt as needed. Add enough vinegar to brighten the flavor. 

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Return pasta to the same pot; add enough of the sauce to coat the noodles, stirring over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes. 

Serve the pasta in warm bowls, with another big spoonful of the sauce on top of each and plenty of Parmesan cheese. 


Note: Special order a lamb shoulder roast from your butcher, or substitute cubed stew meat and reduce the cooking time to about 4 hours on high, or 6 to 8 hours on low.

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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