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Lamb Ragu with Carrots & Green Garlic - Joshua McFadden

Lamb Ragu with Carrots & Green Garlic

Recipe by Joshua McFadden


This recipe is from Joshua McFadden's cookbook - "6 Seasons: A new Way with Vegetables". We made this recipe while our green garlic was being freshly harvested from the field, and it is by far our favourite way to use up a LOT of green garlic. Be sure to get your hands on a 1/2 lb of green garlic and try this recipe out!


Serves 4-6


  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 oz. of green garlic sliced into ¼ inch pieces (about 1 ½ cups) {If you don’t have green garlic use 5-6 garlic cloves}
  • 1 pound of carrots, trimmed and peeled, and diced into ¼” pieces (about 2 ½ cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly grated ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ pounds of ground lamb (or venison)
  • ½ cup dry, unoaked white wine
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 tsp of dried chile flakes
  • A generous sprig of thyme
  • 2 tabelspoons of unsalted butter
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmigiano cheese
  • ½ cup freshly grated pecorino cheese
  • 8 ounces of dried pasta (we used Pender Pasta which is available at Truss and Southridge on Pender Island)

Heat a glug of olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch Oven over medium-high heat. Add the green garlic and carrots, and season with 1 tsp of salt and lots of twists of black pepper. As soon as the vegetables begin to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium-low. Keep cooking until they are soft and fragrant, but not at all browned, about 10 minutes.

Add the lamb (or venison, or beef), breaking up any big chunks, and cook until it is no longer pink, 5-10 minutes; take care not to actually brown the meat or get really crusty bits.

Add the wine, water, chile flakes, 2 tsps of salt, and the thyme. Cover the pan and cook at a gentle simmer until the flavours have married nicely, the liquid is brothy and flavourful, and the vegetables are fully tender, 35-45 minutes. Check on the ragu during the cooking to be sure it’s not drying out; if so, add a bit more water. You want the final texture to be loose and slightly brothy but not watery.

Stir in the butter and cheese, and add a few more twists of black pepper. Taste and adjust the flavours with more salt, pepper, chile flakes or cheese.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add salt until it tastes like the sea. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. With a ladle, scoop out ½-1 cups of cooking water. Then drain the pasta and add it to the ragu. Add ½ of cooking liquid to the ragu and simmer together for a minute or two, and add more cooking water if it starts to dry out at all.

Pile everything into shallow bowls. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and serve. Pass more cheese at the table.