Life Eat & Drink Cook it tonight: Hearty lamb ragu with cavatelli

Cook it tonight: Hearty lamb ragu with cavatelli

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La Svolta’s homemade cavatelli with slow cooked ragu of lamb, olives and mushrooms is just the thing to serve on a cold night.

With fresh shells of pasta clinging to steaming, rich tomato and olive spiked sauce with tender, fall-apart pieces of lamb, it’s a hearty, rib-sticking revelation.

The New Daily visited La Svolta’s kitchen in Prahran and asked the team to break down the recipe, step by step. This recipe serves four.

Step one – the cavatelli

Start with fresh cavatelli pasta. You can purchase this from a specialty Italian grocer or roll out your own using a simple dough of flour, egg and water.

These pasta shells are said to resemble miniature hot dog buns.


Step two – chop up

Finely chop one carrot, half a red onion and two celery sticks and cook in a large pot with four tablespoons of olive oil.

carrots onions celery

Step three – tomato time

When the vegetables are soft add one tablespoon of tomato paste and some Bouquet Garni – thats a good handful of fresh rosemary, bay leaves and sage.


Step four – seal the deal

Seal the lamb in a separate, large frying pan on a high heat with olive oil. When the lamb is browned pour in a glass of red wine and leave to reduce.


Step five – slow cook it

Combine the lamb with the cooked vegetables and one 400g tin of crushed tomatoes.

Add 500 mls of vegetable stock and cook over a low heat.

Keep it simmering on low for 1.5-2 hours or until the lamb is very soft.


Half an hour before the ragu has finished cooking add 200g of chopped mushrooms and 100g olives taggiasche (that’s olives preserved in brine).

Step six – cook the pasta

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente.


Step seven – combine

Mix the sauce with the pasta over heat and serve with freshly shaved parmigiano cheese, a sprinkle of chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.


Buon appetito!



Recipe courtesy of La Svota, 3-5 Cecil Place, Prahran. Call 9510 3001.

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