This paccheri pasta with braised lamb and wild mushrooms is the answer to your cravings for a comforting, hearty and richy flavored pasta dinner all winter long. And thanks to the quality ingredients from Bona Furtuna, you can bring real Italian flavors to your home kitchen.
Braising is such a rewarding culinary endeavor. If you have some time on a chilly weekend afternoon, I highly recommend popping lamb shoulder into your dutch oven with this savory braising medium of red wine, fennel and fresh herbs. Your entire home will take on the cozy aroma of slow-braised meat, and everyone will be gathering around for this impressive pasta dinner.
- ¼ cup Bona Furtuna Forte Olive Oil
- 1½ pounds lamb shoulder or neck (shoulder for a leaner dish, neck for a richer version)
- 3 tablespoons Bona Furtuna 100% Sicilian Sea Salt
- 1 tablespoon Bona Furtuna Wild Foraged Fennel Seed
- 2 cups yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 cup carrot, cut into large pieces
- 8 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 1 bunch thyme
- 1 bunch rosemary
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 1 bottle red wine
- 8-10 cups beef stock or broth (amount depends on size of shanks or necks)
- 1 piece cheese cloth (about 9x9)
- ¼ cup Bona Furtuna Forte Olive Oil
- 2½ cups mixed wild mushrooms
- ¼ cup minced shallot
- ¼ cup thinly sliced garlic
- 1 pound braised lamb, shredded
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups braising liquid
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups wild rocket arugula
- 1 box Bona Furtuna Paccheri (cooked, drained and tossed with olive oil)
- ¾ pound unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, chilled
- Bona Furtuna Sicilian Sea Salt as needed
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 1½ tablespoons Bona Furtuna Organic Dried Basil
- 1 small piece of pecorino romano, optional
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- In a dutch oven, heat add the olive oil over medium-high. Season the lamb with Sicilian sea salt and black pepper and when the oil is hot, sear until heavily browned on all sides. Transfer the lamb to a plate. Add the fennel seed, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves to the pot. Cook until fragrant and aromatic. The vegetables should be heavily caramelized.
- Carefully lay the cheesecloth over the vegetable mixture and place the lamb over the cloth in the pot. Add the red wine and bring to a simmer. Reduce by ¼. Add the stock, cover with parchment paper and tin foil, cover with the lid, and place into the oven for 3-4 hours, or until extremely tender.
- Remove the pot from the oven and let it stand at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. Carefully remove the lamb and shred into large pieces. Cover with a few spoonfuls of the braising liquid and set aside, covered.
- Strain the remaining braising liquid and reserve 2-3 cups. Discard the renaming liquid.
- For the paccheri, in a deep saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and brown heavily, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the shallot and garlic. Stir frequently to avoid burning.
- Add the shredded lamb and red wine and bring to a simmer. Reduce the wine by half. Add the reserved braising liquid, tomatoes, arugula and cooked pasta. Stir gently and bring to a hard simmer.
- Once the pasta is hot and tender, reduce the heat to very low and slowly stir in the butter a few pieces at a time. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Finish with dried basil and cheese if using. Add another small pour of olive oil if desired. Serve immediately.
Cooks Note: Dish may be finished with grated pecorino or parmesan cheese if desired.
How to Make Braised Lamb for Paccheri Pasta
The great thing about braising lamb is that it’s mostly a hands-off cooking process that produces incredibly flavorful results.
The first step is to get a good sear on the lamb. Do this with a thin coating of Bona Furtuna Forte Olive Oil, which is my go-to for every kind of culinary project. Make sure that the oil gets nice and hot, then place your cut of meat in the pot and let it cook, undisturbed, until you have a hard, golden crust on all sides.
Searing your meat before braising adds a wonderful textural dimension so you have soft fall-apart tender shreds of lamb with some crispy, caramelized bits.
Next, build your flavorful braising liquid with herbs, red wine, sauteed vegetables and a few key spices. Bona Fortuna Wild Foraged Fennel Seed adds the perfect woodsy, earthy flavor to complement the gaminess of lamb.
Building the Pasta Sauce
Once your lamb is tender and lightly shredded, you’re ready to complete the dish by finishing the pasta sauce. Greens, fresh tomatoes and mushrooms add pops of fresh, sweet flavor to the dish. Paccheri is the perfect shape for serving with this woodsy stew of lamb, mushrooms and herbs.
More Comforting Wintertime Recipes
If you love this hearty braised lamb pasta recipe, try these other seasonal favorites next:
- Squash-Ricotta Gnocchi with Bacon Brown Butter Sauce
- Blood Orange, Pistachio and Beet Salad
- Pomegranate Brie Crostini Appetizer
And be sure to follow along on Instagram, where I’m always sharing my favorite recipes and products you have to try!