Black Sheep Ragu

By • July 2, 2017 0 Comments

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Author Notes: This pasta recipe takes its inspiration from the Abruzzo region of Italy modified by seasonal ingredients in the market and my pantry. Here I've used rigatoni---I've come to appreciate why in Italy certain shapes match with particular saucing ideas--but I think paccheri would work also.pierino

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Serves 2-4

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 3 whole long green peppers (such as Hatch) seeded (fresh or canned)
  • 1 bay laurel leaf
  • 1 small dried red pepper (or substitute ½ tsp chile flakes)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • olive oil
  • 2 cups dried rigatoni
  1. 1) Set up your mise en place; cut the peppers into thin strips scraping out any seeds. Peel and smash down the garlic keeping the cloves intact. Slice the tomatoes in half from top to bottom.
  2. 2) In a small dutch or French oven [preferably earthenware] heat the olive oil until it begins to shimmer. Don’t let it burn. Add the garlic and allow it to color lightly.
  3. 3) Break up the ground lamb and allow to brown. Add the pepper flakes and work in the pepper strips followed by the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the chicken stock, cover and cook on a low flame until cooked through. This should take about an hour. It needs to reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.
  5. 5) When the sauce is close to done bring the water to a boil and cook the pasta. If the ragu needs more liquid add a ladle of the pasta cooking water.
  6. 6) Plate the pasta and ragu. Grate the romano over each serving.

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