(recipe, Richard Ruben)
This quick-cooking ragout offers lots of flavor and great versatility. I toss it with gnocchi or penne pasta, or I treat it as a fancy Sloppy Joe over crusty bread. It also freezes well.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. red chile flakes
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ lb. coarsely ground lamb
- ¼ cup red wine
- 1 can (16 ounces) peeled whole tomatoes
- 2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and julienned
- 1 lb. spinach, washed and roughly torn
- ¼ cup black olives (such as Kalamata, niçoise, or Gaeta), pitted
- ¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Heat a heavy two-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the garlic, chile flakes, and bay leaves, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the ground lamb and cook, stirring, until browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and reduce for about 3 minutes until syrupy. Mix in the tomatoes and peppers and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Mix in the remaining ingredients and cook an additional 10 minutes.
- Correct seasonings and serve hot.