Spring Lamb Ragu with Lemon and Olives
Mix pasta with a lamb tomato wine sauce seasoned with fresh herbs, olives, lemon zest and more for a satisfying spring meal.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Zest of 1 lemon, juice of half, divided
- 3/4 cup good-quality pitted Sicilian green olives, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 pound egg tagliatelle or fettuccine
- 1/4 cup mint, finely chopped, divided
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley (a handful), finely chopped, divided
- Freshly grated Pecorino cheese
Heat the EVOO in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Pat the meat dry and add it to the hot pot in a single layer. Cook for a minute or two, then break up the meat and continue to crumble until well-browned. Add the onion, garlic, cinnamon stick and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Cook to soften the veggies, 5 minutes, then stir in the lemon zest, olives and tomato paste. Stir for 1 minute, then add the wine and deglaze. Stir in the stock and reduce the heat to a low simmer while you boil the water and cook the pasta.
Bring a large pot of water to boil for pasta. Add salt and cook the pasta to al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water just before draining.
Add the lemon juice to the ragu. Combine with the pasta, starchy cooking water and half of the mint and parsley. Serve in shallow bowls topped with cheese and the remaining herbs.