So, uh, if you read my last post about meal planning you read the part where I said I double-check my list before I head out, right? Ha ha ha yeah. I knew I had a package of lamb in the freezer, but I thought it was lamb kabob meat and it turns out it was lamb stew meat and those are different. It is not exactly stew weather, so instead of ordering pizza (pizza is for the WEAK - actually no pizza is delicious I’m sorry pizza) I made a lovely pasta instead. Pasta is a year-round treat.
Other than the simmer time (which is hands-off but needs to be considered), this comes together very quickly. You can even make the sauce in a slow cooker in the morning, and come home to delicious sauce at night. At that point, I would probably find myself skipping the pasta and just hovering over the crock pot, shoveling the sauce straight into my face using bread as a spoon (like God intended). The sauce is pretty thick, so cook it on low and it shouldn’t stick. If you’re nervous, and/or your crock runs hot, add a little water. It will thicken up and be totally oh-kay.
PS - Canned tomatoes are one of those things where they are priced in direct proportion to taste and quality. Cheap canned tomatoes tend to taste “tinny” and sometimes the texture is weird. I like Muir Glen best, with Rienzi and Hunt’s as backup. (I find Hunt’s pasta sauce too sweet, but their canned tomatoes have good texture)
Lamb Ragu with Farfalle
- 1# lamb stew meat, cubed
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 sweet bell pepper, diced
- ¼ c minced garlic
- 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 generous tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 c red wine
- a fistful (to taste) of chopped fresh herbs, such as oregano, thyme, parsley
- 1# dried farfalle (bow ties)
- olive oil
Toss lamb with salt and pepper to taste. Heat dutch oven or similar heavy-bottomed pot on high. Add about ¼ c olive oil, then lamb, and sear the lamb pieces until browned on all sides. Add garlic, onion, and pepper. Saute’ until soft, 3-5 minutes. Deglaze with wine, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan as you stir. Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste and herbs. Salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low, cover, let simmer for at least 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.