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    Fiocchetti, Lamb and Aubergine Al Forno

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    Fiocchetti, Lamb and Aubergine Al Forno

    As with macaroni cheese, the advantage of this dish is that there is no last-minute draining and fiddling. As it is precooked, mixed and piled into a dish, ready to be finished at your convenience, it's ideal for an evening meal where preparation time is short. If you can make the ragout a day in advance, it will taste even better.

    • Preparation time: 140 minutes
    • Cooking time: 25 minutes to 30 minutes
    • Total time: 2 hours 45 minutes to 2 hours 50 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 50 minutes

    Serves: 4 - 6


    • 2 medium aubergines, diced
    • 800g half shoulder of lamb on the bone
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 150ml red wine
    • 800g tinned chopped tomatoes
    • 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1 tsp caster sugar
    • 250g fiocchetti, garganelli or elbow macaroni
    • 60g Parmesan, freshly grated


    1. Make the ragout first. Fry the onion and garlic gently in 2 tbsp olive oil and transfer to a plate. Cut the meat into thin slices, slicing around the bone. Fry the slices of lamb, with the bone in the same pan, until the meat is patched with brown, then scoop out and add to the onions. Drain and discard excess fat from the pan.
    2. Return the pan to the heat and add the wine. Bring up to the boil, scraping up all the nice brown gooey stuff that's left. Reduce by half, then add the tomatoes, 500ml water, rosemary, cinnamon stick, sugar, salt and pepper, and the cooked ingredients. Cover and simmer for 1½ hours, until the meat is tender. By the end of cooking, there should be plenty of sauce, more or less of coating consistency. Once the sauce is done, taste and adjust seasoning and discard the cinnamon stick. Tear up the meat roughly, and discard the bones.
    3. Meanwhile, spread the aubergine cubes out in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Leave to drain for 1 hour, then rinse the drained aubergine and pat dry. Fry in 1 tbsp oil until browned. Drain on kitchen paper. Cook the fiocchetti in boiling salted water until half cooked (about 5 minutes). Drain, run under cold water, drain again, then toss with 1 tbsp olive oil. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Tip aubergine and pasta into the lamb sauce and mix. Tip into an ovenproof dish and smooth down. Sprinkle Parmesan thickly over the top, drizzle with a final tbsp olive oil and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

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    Drinks recommendation

    This recipe calls for a turbo-charged Tuscan red. Decant and allow it to breath for an hour or so before serving.


    Average user rating

    5 stars