Lamb casserole with peppers and macaroni

    1 hour 55 min

    This Italian-style casserole is ideal for a special family dinner – it can be put in the oven well in advance, leaving time to do other things. Don't worry if you get delayed, as the lamb improves with longer cooking. Or it can be left to stand and reheated, with the macaroni added at the last minute. Serve with ciabatta.

    35 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) lean lamb neck fillet, trimmed of fat and sliced
    • 250 g (8½ oz) shallots, halved or quartered
    • 1 carrot, cut into large dice
    • 2 celery sticks, thickly sliced
    • 2 red peppers, seeded and cut into large dice
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 can chopped tomatoes, about 400 g
    • 200 ml (7 fl oz) dry white wine
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 3 bay leaves
    • 2 tsp light soft brown sugar
    • 340 g (12 oz) macaroni
    • salt and pepper
    • To garnish
    • grated zest of 1 lemon
    • 4 tbsp chopped parsley

    Prep:25min  ›  Cook:1hr30min  ›  Ready in:1hr55min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole, add the slices of lamb and fry over a high heat for 5 minutes or until evenly browned, turning the pieces several times.
    2. Add the shallots, carrot, celery, red peppers and garlic and fry for 3–4 minutes or until softened. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the wine, lemon juice, bay leaves and sugar, and season to taste. Stir well and bring to the boil, then stir again. Cover the casserole with its lid, transfer it to the oven and cook for 1 1/4 hours or until the lamb is tender.
    3. When the lamb is nearly done, drop the pasta into a large saucepan of boiling water. When the water returns to the boil, cook for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain and stir into the lamb, then taste for seasoning. Serve hot, garnished with grated lemon zest and chopped parsley.

    Some more ideas

    Diced lean boneless leg of lamb or trimmed shoulder can be used instead of neck fillet. * For a Greek lamb and pasta casserole, fry 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced lamb with 1 sliced onion in a non-stick frying pan, without any fat. Drain in a sieve so that fat from the lamb can be discarded, then put the meat and onion in a large saucepan. Add 2 tsp crushed coriander seeds and 2 chopped garlic cloves and cook for 1 minute, then stir in 200 ml (7 fl oz) dry white wine, 300 ml (10 fl oz) lamb or vegetable stock, 2 tbsp tomato purée and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the juice of 1 lemon with the cooked macaroni, then taste for seasoning. Top with 200 g (7 oz) cooked shelled broad beans tossed with 2 tbsp each chopped fresh mint and parsley. * Other pasta shapes such as fusilli (spirals) or conchiglie (shells) can be used.

    Plus points

    Red peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C – weight for weight they contain over twice as much as oranges. They also provide good amounts of carotenoids and bioflavonoids – both antioxidants that help to protect against heart disease and cancer. * When vegetables are cooked in a casserole they take on the flavour of the sauce, so it is a good way to encourage children to eat them. For very fussy children, scoop out the meat with a draining spoon and disguise the vegetables by puréeing them with the sauce.

    Each serving provides

    A, B1, B6, B12, C, E, folate, niacin, zinc * B2, iron, selenium * potassium

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    Reviews in English (3)


    Really good recipe. The only alterations I made were to omit the celery (simply due to personal preference) and to use diced lamb instead of neck fillet. This has lovely flavours and is a nice meal for the whole family. One slight drawback is the amount of time it takes to cook, but at least once it's prepared you can leave it and get on with other things. Recommended.  -  29 May 2009


    Family loved it! And if the husband loves it then it really IS good!!!  -  04 Feb 2017


    Loved this recipe. Let it cook for ages and added black olives and spinach at the end. Also added a sprig of rosemary yum yum.........  -  16 Oct 2014