Greek Lamb Ragu with Penne
I discovered a version of this dish years ago (thanks to my big sister) from Rachel Ray. The original had a few hard to find ingredients and unnecessary steps, so I’ve definitely messed with it a bit through the years to make it my own. This dish is one of my family’s favorites and the leftovers are even better after all the flavors meld together for 24 hours.
Olive Oil 2 lbs ground lamb salt & pepper to taste
1 medium yellow onion
1 poblano pepper
4 cloves garlic
3 TBSP fresh oregano, chopped
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 can tomato paste
1/4 cup olive tapenade
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/8 - 1/4 tsp nutmeg
16 oz penne pasta
8 oz crumbled feta
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped mint
1. Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the olive oil, about 1TBSP. Add the lamb and brown; caramelizing the meat to deep brown.
2. Add lots of black pepper, salt, oregano, garlic, onion, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and poblano and cook for 7 to 8 minutes to soften.
3. Add the tomato paste and olive tapenade and stir for 30 seconds. Add the wine and deglaze the pan; add the milk and reduce the heat to a simmer. Add nutmeg to taste (I use 1/4 tsp) and simmer the ragu while you cook the pasta.
4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente.
5. Chop parsley and mint and mix together. Set aside. 6. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
7. Discard the bay leaf and cinnamon stick from the ragu. Add the pasta to the sauce.
8. Add 3/4 of the feta and 3/4 of the parsley/mint mixture to the ragu. Fold the mixture together, adding pasta water as needed to help the heavy ragu move and combine with the pasta.
9. Serve in shallow bowls topped with the remaining feta and the finely chopped parsley and mint.
1. This is a great dish for dinner parties, looks impressive but is super simple. 2. I like to use a Sauvignon Blanc in this recipe... and to drink along side it. 😉
3. You can use any ground meat you prefer in this dish, we love lamb so it works for us, but ground turkey would be delicious as well!