Pasta with Lamb, Vegetables, Honey & Thyme

I used to make this Italian-French fusion dish that I had invented myself on a regular basis, but hadn’t for a while as I was concentrating on more traditional dishes. I wanted to make something with lamb, remembered this dish and realised that I hadn’t blogged about it yet. So I made it again and decided to make it again more often since it is very flavorful. You can make this with any tender lamb such as lamb loin, lamb tenderloin or leg of a young lamb.


For 2-3 servings

300 grams (2/3 pound) boneless tender lamb

150 grams (1/3 pound) short pasta such as penne, or more to serve 3

1 eggplant (aubergine)

1 zucchini (courgette)

1 bell pepper

125 ml (1/2 cup) concentrated lamb stock, preferably home-made

125 ml (1/2 cup) red wine, preferably the same pinot noir you will drink with it

8 fresh thyme sprigs + 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves

1 bay leaf

1 shallot, chopped

1 clove garlic

2 Tbsp sieved tomatoes (tomato puree)

1 Tbsp honey, preferably thyme honey

salt and freshly ground black pepper

olive oil

flour for dusting


Clean the eggplant, zucchini, and bell pepper and cut into 2 cm (1″) chunks. I like to peel the eggplant, but you can also leave the skin on if you like.

Cut the lamb into 2 cm (1″) cubes, removing most of the ‘white meat’.

Season the lamb with salt and freshly ground black pepper and dust lightly with flour.

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and quickly brown the lamb on all sides.

Remove the lamb from the pan and put it on a plate, using a slotted spoon to keep as much oil as possible in the frying pan.

In the same oil (add some oil if needed), sauté the shallot, thyme sprigs, bay leaf and garlic clove for a minute or two.

I like to use a whole garlic clove and discard it later, but you can also mince the garlic.

Add the vegetables and stir until coated with oil. Add a bit of oil if needed.

Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover with a lid and lower the heat to medium. Cook for half an hour until the vegetables are almost tender, stirring now and then and checking that the vegetables don’t burn.

Remove the cover and increase the heat to high.

Add the wine as soon as the vegetables start to turn golden, and stir until about half of the wine has evaporated.

Add the lamb stock and lower the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring now and then, until the sauce has a nice thick consistency.

Meanwhile, boil the pasta al dente in ample salted water according to package instructions.

Add the lamb to the sauce about two minutes before the pasta is done. Lower the heat as soon as the sauce begins to bubble again.

Add the honey and thyme leaves. Taste to adjust seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add more honey or thyme leaves if you like.

Drain the pasta and add to the sauce.

Stir to mix.

Serve immediately on warm plates.

Wine pairing

This is good with an oaked full-bodied pinot noir. The wine should not be too dry because of the honey. We enjoyed it very much with a 2009 red Sancerre from Vacheron.

11 thoughts on “Pasta with Lamb, Vegetables, Honey & Thyme

  1. Looks delicious – and I wish when I ‘brown’ meat it turned out looking actually brown like yours – I think I chicken out because Im worried it will get too tough…


    1. Thanks!

      What helps is to use enough fat and a thick-bottomed pan (so it doesn’t cool off too quickly), to use a wide pan and don’t crowd it (so the moisture can escape), as well as to pat the meat dry with paper towels and dust with flour (to absorb moisture).


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