Category: Pasta with Lamb
This is a simple yet highly flavorful dish. For this preparation to be pleasing you must control the amount of fat in the lamb, so look for lean lamb or render the fat first. This dish is inspired by the very simple dishes for lamb and pasta one would find in Calabria or even mountainous Greece.
[photo: Clifford A. Wright]
Yield: Makes 4 servings
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 pound ground lamb
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine
3/4 pound spaghetti
1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese
1. Place the olive oil, garlic, and ground lamb in a skillet and turn the heat to medium. Cook the lamb until it turns color, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove and discard all but 3 tablespoons of the liquid and fat in the skillet. Sprinkle the lamb with oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Dilute the tomato paste with the wine and stir into the skillet. Cook for 30 minutes, lowering the heat to medium-low if it is bubbling too much.
2. Meanwhile, for every pound of pasta, bring 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil over high heat, salt abundantly with up to 1/2 cup of salt, then add the pasta in handfuls. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally so the pasta doesn’t stick together, until al dente. Drain without rinsing.
3. Transfer the pasta to the skillet and mix well while you cook for another 2 or 3 minutes. Toss with pecorino cheese and serve.