Aglianico with Lamb and Bell Pepper Ragu
Ragu di Agnello e Peperoni from Spaghetti Sauces by Biba Caggiano. This southern Italian recipe combines the robust flavor of lamb with the sweetness of red bell peppers.
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into ½ inch pieces
- 1 cup finely minced yellow onion
- 1 pound ground lamb shoulder
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Salt and red hot pepper flakes to taste
- 1 lb spaghetti
- ½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1) Heat the oil in a wide-bottom saucepan over medium heat. Add the bell peppers and onion and stir until onion is lightly golden and soft, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat and add the lamb, stir until lamb loses it raw color, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the wine is reduced approximately by half. Add the tomatoes and broth, season with salt and red pepper flakes, and bring to a boil.
2) Reduce heat to low; partially cover the pan and cook, stirring from time to time, until the sauce has a medium-thick consistency, 1 to 1 ½ hours. Taste, adjust seasoning and set aside.
3) Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water according to package directions.
4) Drain the pasta and place in a warm serving bowl. Add about half the ragu and quickly toss to combine. Add a little more sauce, if needed. Serve with a sprinkle of Pecorino Romano.
Notes: Rather than spaghetti, serve this sauce on orchiette, “little ears”, so small pieces of the lamb and peppers are captured in the bowl-like shape of the pasta. If you don’t care for lamb, you could substitute ground chuck and still have a nice sauce.
Enjoy with crusty bread and Amador Foothill Aglianico. Serves 4 to 6.