Whole Wheat Rigatoni with Lamb and Tuscan Kale Ragú

By • January 7, 2014 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: Although this isn’t technically a “one-pot” meal since you have to cook the pasta separately, it is so satisfying and savory that you won’t mind dirtying another pot. Simple and hearty, this dish will take the chill off in the depths of winter. Choose a sturdy pasta, like rigatoni, rotini or penne, that will stand up to and provide plenty of surface area for the thick, rich sauce.brigidc

Serves 4

  • 2 ounces pancetta, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes, with their liquid
  • 1 bunch lacinato (Tuscan) kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup shredded pecorino cheese
  • 1 pound whole wheat rigatoni or penne
  • 6 quarts water
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  1. 1. In a large heavy saucepan combine the pancetta and olive oil and cook over medium heat until the pancetta’s fat starts to melt
  2. 2. Add the onion, garlic and red chile flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. 3. Add the lamb and increase the heat to medium high. Cook until the lamb has started to brown, breaking it up into small pieces with a fork or whisk as it cooks.
  4. 4. Add the rosemary and wine and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook until the wine is almost completely evaporated. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  5. 5. Cover the sauce, leaving the lid slightly ajar, and reduce the heat so that it barely simmers. Cook the sauce for 1 ½ -2 hours, until the flavors are well married. Stir it occasionally and mash the tomatoes with the back of the spoon as they soften, and adjust the heat as necessary to maintain a very low simmer.
  6. 6. Stir in the kale and salt. Cover the pot and simmer for an additional 20 minutes, or until the kale is tender. Add more salt and chile flakes if desired.
  7. 8. Add the pasta to the pot with the sauce and add the pecorino cheese and about half of the reserved cooking water. Stir the pasta over medium low heat until it is coated with the sauce, adding more of the cooking water if necessary to coat evenly. Serve immediately with freshly grated pecorino cheese.
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