Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lamb Ragu with Mint

I love Giada DeLaurentiis! And the Gratitude Cocktail loves her too, which is good enough for me. I've actually made her Lamb Ragu with Mint dish before, but that was in my pre-blog phase. Since then, I've had numerous cravings for this dish. And finally, in between cupcake baking/blogging and our numerous snow days, I've finally gotten a chance to satisfy those cravings.

Lamb Ragu with Mint
adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis

  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 cups marinara sauce, store-bought or home made
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

2) Meanwhile, in a large skillet warm the olive oil over high heat. Add the shallots and the garlic and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.

3) Add the ground lamb, salt, and pepper.
4) Cook until the lamb has browned and the juices have evaporated.
5) Add the wine, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon. Simmer until the wine has reduced by half.
6) Add the marinara sauce and simmer over low heat until the flavors have blended, about 10 minutes.
7) Add the mint and ricotta and stir until mixed.
8) Add the pasta and stir to coat. Serve immediately.
An advantage of having made this dish before is that I already know what I like and don't like about it. Well, there's really not much I dislike about this recipe. Actually, there's nothing that I dislike about this recipe. All I did was double the shredded mint that was originally called for. Because i'm daring like that.

But seriously, this dish showcases the amazing pairing of lamb and mint. The lamb is seared and has a flavorful, crunchy crust. The aroma of the mint provides the perfect accessory for the lamb. On top of this, the addition of the ricotta makes the tomato sauce really creamy.

Mmmmm...We'll see how long this pasta lasts. Then I'll be making this again.

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