Pappardelle with a tomato ragu sounds typical enough — until you jazz it up with the addition of leftover ground lamb, shallots, and parsley. Not only does it make for a seemingly effortless yet sophisticated Monday night dinner, but it's also a great way to introduce other family members and friends to the rich and slightly gamey flavors of lamb. Top it off with some mild ricotta salata or feta cheese, and you've got a very memorable meal. See the recipe when you keep on reading.
- Salt and pepper
12 ounces long, wide pasta, such as pappardelle or fettuccine
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 pound ground lamb
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 large shallot, chopped
2 to 3 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/3 pound ricotta salata cheese or feta cheese, crumbled
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 ladleful of pasta cooking water.
- While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and cook, crumbling it, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, tossing, until they burst, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shallot and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir the reserved pasta cooking water into the lamb ragu. Add the pasta, mint and parsley and toss. Top the pasta with the cheese.
- Main Dishes, Lamb