Quick Ragù With Ricotta and Lemon Recipe (2024)

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Sambal makes this a little garlic heavy for me. The hungarian paprika paste is a good option, as is the adobo from canned chipotles, sesame chili oil also works in 1/2 ratio.If you swap the lasagne noodles with spaetzle, fennel for caraway, this also makes a legitimately delicious riff on goulash.


I thought it needed tomato paste for depth and sugar to counter the acidic pepper paste. Added them both towards the end and it came out great!


For the chili paste I used Korean gochujang and it came out really well. Add a lot of flavor that complemented the fennel well.

Sarah Copeland

I love the idea of doing this with spaetzle as a riff on goulash / gulyás (my Husband is Hungarian, so, you're speaking my language!). Just curious where you found your Hungarian paprika paste?


I’ve been making ragú with Impossible burger and it works beautifully. I’m not a vegetarian but generally looking to cut back on red meat. Brown it well and add a bit of garlic, rosemary and sage, and you’ve got the meaty bliss of Italian sausage minus the guilt of destroying the earth. Doesn’t work for everything, but really works here.


I used harissa as the pepper paste, since I had some in the fridge. It was delicious!!!

Troy Mauk

Amazing. Quick weeknight meal. I used Italian sausage, put the ricotta on the side to everyone's liking. This is a keeper.

Richard Terapak

Surprisingly layered for such a quick dish. The toasted fennel seeds and lemon zest were a brilliant finish. They conveyed the classic Italian flavors to the essentially ground beef base. The chili paste added just enough heat. Wouldn’t change a thing. May become a new standard for a week night very satisfying pasta. Rich T. Columbus Ohio

Angel R.

Made this recipe with spicy Italian sausage. Per the suggestion in the comment, I added tomato paste before the 30 min simmer period. It significantly helped to balance the acidity. Otherwise, I made the recipe as written. Its an intensely flavorful dish— very aromatic, and simple. Would make again. Next time, I’ll toss the noodles in honey before mixing in the ragu— I think some earthy sweetness would have been a nice addition.

June From Port Ludlow

Used 2 tablespoons of Sambal Oelek by Huy Fong Foods (green cap). It was delicious, but I will cut back on the heat next time. Lemon zest over the ricotta was a nice touch. Will definitely make again.Next time will use leaner ground beef, less olive oil for cooking the onion and garlic, and drain fat prior to adding the red pepper paste. Will add the olive oil right before serving.


I only had no-cook lasagna noodles so I added about half a cup of water to the sauce and put the dry, broken noodles into the ragu 15 minutes into the 30-minutes of simmering. It came out just fine. Made for a filling, very rich dinner.

Margaret S

Sure, I bet it would work! When I've substituted tofu for ground beef, I've had best results when I've frozen it, then thawed and pressed the water out of it. The texture works SO much better that way! I've also successfully used tempeh and bulgur as ground beef substitutes. Good luck!

Jenna D.

We made this tonight and followed it exactly, no substitutions, and it was delicious! The ricotta, fennel, lemon zest, maldon, pepper, and olive oil drizzle took it over the top! Perfect, easy, weeknight meal!


Wow! We just made and ate this. Fantastic. I could not find sambal oelek, so I used some mild Harissa and an equal amount of tomato paste. Perfect for a cool, fall evening.


Thanks. I dislike fennel and swapping caraway for the fennel sounds like a great idea. I am still going to try the original version, though, just without fennel.


Less spice


Made this tonight and it was loved by all. Even my fennel disliking husband. I had on hand mild harissa and a chili in Adobo and used that. I agree that the lemon zest, ricotta(dairy free), fennel and olive oil drizzle made it out of this world!


Made as recipe was written with exception of swapping in Calabrian chili paste for the sambal oelek and reducing amount to 1/2 TBSP not the 2 TBSP specified. Fun way to use spare lasagna noodles. But with so many recipes and so little time and calories to spare, not one to repeat. The take-away here for us to use again is the ricotta topped with toasted ground fennel seeds and lemon zest.


Followed recipe as written except for substituting gluten-free (chickpea) rontini fir the lasagna noodles. Excellent umami flavor.


3 T of heatmaybe sit for a nightvery solid


I made this exactly per the instructions and used Harissa as my pepper sauce. It was absolutely delicious and sophisticated for a “simple” meal. I’d definitely make for a dinner party.


Mysteriously delicious, given how simple it is to make. I used veggie “meat” and “Paprika Tomatenmark” from the supermarket here in Berlin. Something about the lemon zest & the crush fennel seeds.


This was a delicious dish! I, like others made a few tweaks: Lug of aged balsamic at the end for a bit of acid along with 1/2 tsp of anchovy paste while sautéing the beef. I decided to mix the ricotta, zest and toasted fennel to add on top but only used 1/2 cup or ricotta for more punch. I also roasted cauliflower and served that with the noodles, pouring the sauce over. I used Chili Crisp for my paste. The next day was even better. Enjoy!


Perfect as-is, but will try some of the suggestions on next batch.


Wanted to make this in one pot - added about 3 cups of water to the tomato sauce in step 2, and mixed in 12 ounces dry pasta, then simmered until done.


LOVELY! Weeknight doable. This will go in the rotation. I think it will be nice with a tubular pasta (rigatoni), rather than broken lasagna. Used chicken sausage- took the casing off.

Ty Fieri 🔥

This meal was quick, easy, and delicious. Using gochujang works splendidly!


add two boxes of baby kaleUse plain Greek yogurt instead of ricotta

Kristin H.

Made this for the first time last night and it was a major hit. The sambal oelek gave terrific flavor and just the right heat. Crushing the fennel seeds was perfect for my son who doesn't like finding whole fennel seeds in sausages! I used ground turkey (dark meat) as we have family who don't eat red meat and nothing was lost. Really great and will become a new standard I think!


If you are looking for sambal pekel, try a Dutch food store. They often carry it.

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Quick Ragù With Ricotta and Lemon Recipe (2024)
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