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Recipe – Lamb, Fennel and Black Olive Ragu

So I decided to start off this half term as I mean to go on, by eating, drinking and pampering!

After a quick pedicure, we headed into Bath for the afternoon, which was looking glorious in the sunshine. I had forgotten how lovely it is to have the sun streaming in through your window on a Sunday morning – it definitely helped me get up in a good mood.


I devoured The Observer Food magazine (how cool is Jack Monroe?!) then devoured a pulled pork burger and a side of fried pickles…why is all food better fried?! Note to self…must eat a salad today to balance things out!

ragu8 ragu10 ragu12

Today’s recipe is a tasty sauce which I made for a midweek pasta dinner.


It’s a twist on a classic Bolognese with the lovely aniseed-like crunch of fennel to add a bit of variety.



A glug of olive oil

Salt and pepper

400g of lamb mince

1 fennel bulb, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

A few pinches of dried rosemary

1 can of tinned tomatoes

A small jar of black olives, roughly chopped

How to make it

  • Begin by frying off the lamb in a little oil, spooning away any excess fat
  • When the lamb has browned, season well then add the fennel, garlic and rosemary and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the fennel has started to colour
  • Add the tomatoes and olives
  • Simmer for around 15 minutes – if your sauce becomes too thick then add a dash of waterragu3
  • Serve with spaghetti (or any other type of pasta you fancy) and a generous serving of Parmesanragu4

About hannahhotcakes

My name is Hannah. I live near Bath in a lovely village in the Cotswolds with my husband Ian, the love of my life for the past 10 years, in our dream cottage. I have landed my dream job as a primary school teacher and I can’t think of anything else I would rather be doing. I am a self-confessed foodie and I love to cook, bake, and eat out as much as possible. Here are some things I love: My friends and family, travelling, fresh flowers, good books, having breakfast on my balcony, horror films, Christmas, tea, Las Vegas, lie-ins, red wine, Liverpool FC, music, sausage dogs, Spain, rare steak, fashion, cheese, American TV series and camping. And here are my pet hates: People dressed as animals, whistling, being rushed, being made to wait, girls who act stupid to impress a man, spiders, sunburn and rocket (it comes with EVERYTHING!)

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