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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
- 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) 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) 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) 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.
- 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) 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) Plate the pasta and ragu. Grate the romano over each serving.