Happy Valentine’s Day! We aren’t big into celebrating this holiday, so after work we’ll go to yoga and then come home to hang with Boof. We have a Valentine’s party on Saturday with friends, so we’ll save our celebrating until then!
A few months ago when I was in Kroger, I saw some packages of ground lamb on sale. I’ve never cooked with lamb and have rarely eaten it, but I thought I’d give it a shot. I bought two packs and threw them in the freezer.
Last week I bought a spaghetti squash without any plan for it, so I wanted to make a sauce. I remember seeing a recipe somewhere for Lamb Ragu, so I just decided to wing it. Lo doesn’t like spaghetti squash so I made gluten free pasta as well.
I ended up simmering the sauce for about 45 minutes because I was just doing some other stuff around the kitchen. I think it really helped the flavors blend. We weren’t going to eat it that night, so once I let it cool off an put it in the fridge.
The next day I was going to have it all ready when Lo came back in from finishing up the work on his car. I cooked the spaghetti squash in the microwave by poking lots of holes in it and microwaving on a plate for about 10 minutes. I was waiting to cook the pasta until just before he came in to eat. Unfortunately, this was the evening that I very gradually came down with the flu, so by the time he came in that night, I was useless with horrible body aches and chills. I was wearing flannel pajamas underneath a superthick full-length robe. So Lo made his own pasta and plate for himself. I only had a tiny bit, just in case my stomach started up with issues. We ate it for another dinner and a couple of lunches, and we loved it! You can definitely use ground beef or turkey, and you can leave out the chickpeas if you think that’s weird – I wanted some extra texture in there.
Since I was so sick that night, I didn’t take a picture, but got a couple of non-spectacular ones in the following days.
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups reduced-sodium broth (I used chicken)
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 can tomato paste
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon herbes de provence (or thyme and rosemary)
- handful or two of fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup red wine or a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pasta and/or Spaghetti Squash
- In a large frying pan, add the lamb and cook on high, stirring to break up any clumps, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer lamb to a towel-lined plate or bowl.
- If there’s much fat in the pan, pour out most of it, and return the pan to medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Return the lamb to the pan and add the broth, 1/2 cup water, white wine vinegar, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, chickpeas, and spices.
- Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer gently, uncovered, until sauce has thickened slightly, about 25-40 minutes (the longer you simmer, the thicker it will get). Add the spinach with about 5 minutes left so it wilts but doesn’t turn to mush. Add the red wine or balsamic and cook for 1 minute longer. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat.
- While the sauce is cooking, cook the pasta according to package directions. If you’re using spaghetti squash, poke holes in the squash and microwave for 10-12 minutes. Divide pasta into bowls, top with Parmesan cheese, and serve.