Making the most of leftover roasts: Ragu with Pappardelle

As the weather starts to become more autumnal, a Sunday roast is reintroduced to our weekly dining schedule (which makes me sound so much more impressively structured than I actually am).

A decent sized leg of lamb is far too much for our family of four, which leaves meat for school lunches, and a multitude of leftovers.

So I use the leftovers to make at least one more meal, depending on the size of the beast I’ve cooked. A ragu makes the left over meat go a good way further, which we eat either with pasta, or thickened and used as a filling for pies. It’s even good on toast.

You can use any meat you have for this recipe – lamb, beef, chicken, pork or turkey all work well. Just use the stock appropriate for each animal (beef stock for red meat, chicken stock for pork or bird meat), the same for wine (red for red, white for white). If you have gravy left over, feel free to throw that it also, but make it up to the quantity below with ¬†extra water. The herbs I’ve used here (rosemary and bay) can also be changed out for other woody herbs like thyme or oregano, and you can use chopped parsley or basil to finish.

This recipe also freezes well, so you can save it for another day.

Serves 4

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 carrots peeled and finely diced
2 sticks of celery finely diced
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 sprig of rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 cup red wine
440g tin crushed tomatoes or passata
2 cups of stock or left over gravy made up to two cups with extra water
500g leftover roast lamb, chopped into chunks
Salt/pepper to taste
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
300g pappardelle, cooked to manufacturer’s instructions
Freshly grated parmesan and chopped basil or parsley to serve

  1. Heat olive oil over a medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic and saute until soft, but not browned
  2. Increase heat, pour over wine and allow to bubble up.
  3. Add rosemary, bay, stock (or gravy) and tinned tomatoes. Stir through chopped meat, bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until meat is very soft (ideally falling into ribbons). About an hour. Add more water if sauce becomes too thick.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Add balsamic vinegar, return to boiling and cook for 5 minutes. Taste to check that vinegar flavour has sweetened with cooking, adjust seasonings, and serve with cooked pasta.
  7. Garnish with parmesan and chopped basil or parsley.

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