Spicy Lamb Ragu with Spaghetti Squash
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.