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Recipe 01 ➺ Jamie Yates

Lamb & Tomatillo Ragu

Hobart is a favourite destination of the Sometimes Always team, with, arguably, a food and wine scene to rival our own in South Australia. When on the search for the perfect pasta recipe to inspire Sometimes Always drinkers this winter, we looked no further than Jamie Yates. Not only is she one of Hobart’s best young chefs who has made waves in two of our favourite intimate and buzzy venues, Templo and Sonny, but she is a self proclaimed ‘pasta queen’. After trying this recipe, you too will realise this is no arbitrary title, this is a ragu for royalty!


30mins Prep Time
60mins Cooking Time
90mins Total


500G x Lamb mince


300ml white wine
500ml chicken or vegetable stock


(Fine dice or blitz in food processor)
800g tin of tomatilllos (strained)
2 brown onions
2 sticks of celery
1 long red chilli
2 sprigs rosemary
6 cloves of garlic
1 x TBS fennel seeds
Zest of a lemon


Olive oil
Salt & Pepper


First thing, preheat your oven to 200C. Now, liberally oil and mildly salt your soffritto mix. Roast it on a small tray or shallow baking dish on the top shelf of your oven for 20 minutes. We’re doing this in the oven to save you time, it will be ready by the time the rest of the elements are for the braising. Two things at once please!

Next, get a braising pot on a medium-high heat. Cover the base with olive oil, salt your mince and colour well until bronzed. Remember, more colouring here = more flavour. I like to use a whisk to make sure my mince breaks down into a fine and even texture. Set your bronzed mince aside and deglaze your pan with the wine. Scrape all of the caramelized meaty bits off the bottom of the pan and reduce the liquid by half.

Add the strained tomatillos and stock, mashing them slightly with whisk till slightly pureed. At this point you can return the mince to the pan along with the soffritto from the oven, it should be translucent with a touch of colour. Bring everything to a boil, cover and return to a simmer for 40 minutes, then a further 20 minutes without the lid. You want the sauce to reduce and thicken.

Once it’s the right consistency, check your seasoning and add cracked black pepper. I like to eat this Ragu with Rigatoni, but by all means it’d suit most shapes or be delicious on a bed of silky polenta.

Possible Pairings

At Sometimes Always, we understand that sometimes pairing wine and food isn’t always required. That being said, there’s a few considerations that can absolutely improve the experience.
Medium-bodied wines are super versatile when pairing. They won’t overpower most dishes and can stand up to a bit of flavour, using gentle tannin structure and flavour to enhance the experience.
Lamb is one meat in particular that is famous for its strong flavour. This dish balances that richness using tomatillos. Green, more compact and slightly more tart versions of their usual red counterparts, as that sourness cuts through that oily lamb flavour. Our suggestion is to pair this dish with medium-bodied wines that aren’t shy with their tannins – think gamay, sangiovese and skin-fermented or textural .