Lamb Sugo with Bucatini

by Epicurean San Diego

Low and slow is a term we use in our kitchen often! We truly believe that some of the best dishes that come out of our kitchen are ones that take time. Ones that make you salivate just smelling their progress. Growing up 100% Italian, meat and pasta was a weekly part of my life. One, that my husband has since embraced. So here we give you a recent favorite creation of ours, Lamb Sugo! If you haven’t already discovered Assenti’s Pasta in Little Italy, do yourself a favor, and go check them out! They are a family owned and operated Italian deli and market and we absolutely love them!

lamb sugo.jpg


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons bacon fat (or EVOO)

2 large carrots, finely chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped

2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

¾ cup Merlot (or any other dry red wine)

28-ounce can peeled Italian tomatoes, chopped (save the juice! We’ll use it!)

1 cup chicken stock

1 bay leaf

½  teaspoon crushed red pepper

Salt + Pepper to taste

8 large fresh basil leaves

1 ½  pounds fresh bucatini pasta (or any noodles)

Pecorino Romano cheese


1.       Heat ¼ cup olive oil in medium pan (if you have a Cast Iron Skillet, bust it out!). Add the carrots, onion and red bell pepper. Cook over medium heat until soft or lightly browned. Transfer cooked veggies to a plate.

2.       Heat up bacon fat (or olive oil) in pan. Add the lamb and cook, stirring occasionally until the meat is browned, about 10 minutes. Toss the veggies back into the pan. Add the Merlot and simmer until evaporated. Scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan… so yummy! Add tomatoes and juices, chicken stock, bay leaf and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper and bring contents to boil. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the pan and let simmer. Stir occasionally until the lamb is tender, about an hour and a half.

3.       While the sugo is finishing up, boil a pot of water for the bucatini. Cook pasta al dente, for about 7 minutes. We chose bucatini for its straw like shape and its ability to soak up this rich and delicious sauce. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.

4.       Mix pasta water into sugo, little by little, or ¼ cup at a time until desired consistency.

5.       Toss pasta with half of the lamb sugo.  Plate in pasta bowls, and top with a large spoon full of lamb sugo, freshly chopped basil and grated Pecorino Romano.

Buon Appetito!