Lamb ragu and semolina gnocchi bake

Lamb and Mutton SA
4 servings Prep: 15 mins, Cooking: 3 hrs 15 mins
Rate this recipe
A flavourful lamb and gnocchi bake made with a rich lamb mince ragu, spinach and semolina gnocchi. A not-so-traditional Italian pasta bake.

By Independent Contributor May 22 2023
Recipe Disclaimer
Tap for method
Tap for method

Ingredients (25)

Lamb ragu
1 kg stewing lamb — or lamb potjie meat
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper — freshly ground
2 tbsp oil
1 medium onion — peeled and chopped
1 large carrot — peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery — chopped
2 garlic cloves — crushed
2 sprigs rosemary
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cup red wine
1 can red wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 cup lamb stock — or chicken stock
2 cup baby spinach
1/2 cup parmesan cheese — finely grated
3 ml milk
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 cup semolina — fine
1 cup parmesan cheese — finely grated
1 large egg yolk
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup parsley — finely chopped
Tap for ingredients
Tap for ingredients


In a large bowl, toss the lamb in the flour, salt and black pepper until well coated.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy casserole dish over medium-high. Cook the lamb in batches for about 15–20 minutes, until all the meat has been browned. Transfer the lamb to another plate and set aside.

Use the same casserole dish to cook the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and rosemary for 10–15 minutes, until starting to brown. Add the tomato paste and cook until the tomato paste starts to caramelise.

Deglaze the casserole dish with the wine. Add the tomatoes, vinegar and honey, stirring and scraping loose all the browned bits in the casserole dish. Bring the mixture to the boil and add the meat to the mixture.

Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat and cook for about 2–2½ hours until the meat is falling off the bone. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Remove the meat from the sauce, pick the meat off the bones and shred into small pieces. Return the meat to the sauce, discarding the bones. Warm the ragu. Rinse the spinach and add it to the casserole dish. Cook for 2–3 minutes until the spinach is wilted.

Line a 30x20cm baking dish with baking paper, leaving an overhang on two sides.

Bring milk, butter and salt to the boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Gradually whisk in the semolina and cook for about 3 minutes, whisking until very thick and bubbling. Remove from the heat, add the parmesan cheese and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the egg yolk, scrape the gnocchi mixture into the prepared pan and smooth over. Cover and chill until set for at least an hour.

Turn the gnocchi mixture onto a clean surface and remove the baking paper. Using a small circle cutter (2cm), cut small rounds.

Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add half of the gnocchi to the pan, arranged in a single layer, and cook for about 3 minutes without stirring, until browned and crisp underneath. Turn the gnocchi and cook for about 2 minutes, until the other side is browned and crisp.

Spoon the gnocchi into the dish with the ragu. Gently toss gnocchi in the ragu. Sprinkle over the parmesan cheese and bake in the oven for 10–15 minutes until golden brown. Serve with a fresh green salad.

Supported by the Red Meat Industry of SA.

Recipe developed by Gerrie Du Rand; Styling by Caro Alberts; Photography by Michelle Parkin Photography

New recipes on Food24

Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Food24 Team Loves


Get weekly access to our best recipes, tips and tricks

Sign Up

Login to your account below

Fill the forms below to register

Subscribe to Newsletter

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.

Recipe Disclaimer

All recipe content is the responsibility of the party from whom such content originated. You agree that you use the content on Food24 at your own risk. Please read our editorial policy.