Cellentani with Spicy Lamb Ragu

Chef Lorenzo Boni

Cellentani with Spicy Lamb Ragu And Chicory

By Chef Lorenzo Boni of Barilla America.  Serves 25.

The Cellentani pasta shape used in this dish is also known as cavatappi, which translates from the Italian to “Corkscrew;” a derivation that’s obvious from the shape. With its tubular center and ridged (rigate) surface, Cellentani is one of the most versatile pasta cuts; able to capture every drop of sauce and trap vegetables, meat or fish in every forkful.  Cellentani with Spicy Lamb Ragu and Chicory is a typical dish of central Italy, where chicories and lamb are common.


  • 4 lb. Barilla Cellentani
  • 1/2 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ea. Diced medium yellow onions
  • 1 tbsp. Red pepper flakes
  • 4 ea. Large sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 lb. Ground lamb
  • 1 qt. Red wine
  • 4 ea. Bay leaves
  • tt. Salt
  • tt. Black pepper
  • 4 bunches Chopped chicory
  • 4 cloves Minced garlic
  • 2 cups Grated romano cheese


  1. Cook the Barilla® pasta for half the time indicated on the package. Drain pasta and drizzle with some olive oil to prevent from sticking. Place pasta flat on sheet trays or hotel pans and cool in a blast chiller. Alternatively, cool it down in a walk-in cooler. Store in zip lock bags or sealed plastic container; refrigerate and use within several hours.
  2. In a large pan, heat half of the oil and saute the onions, pepper flakes, and rosemary until the onions are translucent. Add the lamb and brown it, breaking up the chunks of meat. Deglaze with the wine and simmer to reduce it by half. Cover the meat with water and add the bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer the sauce until it is reduced and flavorful. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary stems. Keep the sauce warm.
  3. Blanch the chicory in salted water. Drain. Heat the remaining oil and saute the chicory with the garlic until it is tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. For each serving, to order: Reheat 1 1/2 cups pasta in simmering water. Drain and add it to a pan with some of the sauce and some of the chicory. Toss them together and stir in about 1 Tbsp. cheese. Plate.

About the Chef

Chef Lorenzo Boni grew up with a passion for Italian food in Bologna, Italy.  While studying culinary arts, Lorenzo traveled extensively throughout Italy, immersing himself in the regional cuisines of Italy. In 1999, Lorenzo joined Barilla at their world headquarters in Parma.  Now, Lorenzo is responsible for product and recipe development, managing the culinary execution of all Barilla sponsored events, and is also a spokesperson for Barilla and Italian Food Culture Educator in many food conferences around the United States.

Learn more about Chef Lorenzo Boni on his Chef’s Roll profile here.