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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Spicy Lamb Bolognese

This version of bolognese is half lamb and half ground beef, a mixture you'll see a lot in northern Italy. Because the lamb is lean, this is a somewhat lighter sauce than all-beef or pork-based ragu. This sauce needs a good long simmer, but it makes enough for two meals! The pasta shouldn't be swimming in sauce; you only want it to stain the pasta, so you'll likely have some leftover sauce, which I love to have in the fridge for a bonus weeknight dinner.

Spicy Lamb Bolognese


Main Course



Prep Time

5 minutes

Cook Time

180 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Spicy Lamb Bolognese



  1. Heat a medium dutch oven over medium heat. Add the butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil and warm until the butter is melted. Add the onions, carrots, celery and a 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook stirring often for 6 minutes or until the vegetable are soft but have no color. Add the lamb and beef and cook breaking apart the meat with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink. Stir the garlic, chili paste, red pepper flakes, and tomato paste into the meat mixture. Cook the tomato paste stirring often for 2 minutes. Add the milk. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the milk is almost entirely evaporated. Add the wine, tomatoes, bay leaf, parmesan rind and remaining salt. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low to just maintain a gentle simmer.

  2. Simmer the sauce for 1 ½ to 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Skim the oil from the surface.

  3. Spoon the bolognese over creamy polenta or pasta reserving any extra to serve on the side. Serve with additional parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil if desire.



Nutrition Serving Size
per serving
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
14 grams
28 grams
43 grams
Saturated Fat
17 grams
108 milligrams
1062 milligrams
2 grams
7 grams
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2 reviews & comments

  • Author's avatar image
    Michael Grant

    My go-to bolognese. I love the extra flavor kick the lamb and the Calabrian chili paste adds. This was the first recipe I made from “Giada’s Italy” and was alone worth the price of the book (though there are so many other good recipes in it as well).

  • Author's avatar image
    Beth Henry

    When do you add the 1 cup grated parmesan in ingredients to sauce?

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