Lamb Ragu with Caramelized Carrots and Garlic
My hubby bought me the cookbook “Six Seasons A New Way with Vegetables” back in September. I found this kinda funny since I LOVE veggies, but he is more like, how can we cover up the veggies to make them taste like they’re not actually there? Before we were married his idea of dinner was a loaf of bread, a bowl of cereal, or a steak. Just the steak, no sides!?!? My mind just can’t comprehend a meal without sides or veggies, can you?!
"Six Seasons" celebrates all veggies while cooking and preparing each one in several cooking methods...sometimes with proteins sometimes alone or sometimes with other fellow veggies. Plus the book is divided into seasons to celebrate your favorite veggies' best time of year to shine!
So far one of my family's favorite recipes from this book is the Lamb Ragu with Carrots and Garlic. I’ve literally made it like 6 times already! So, so good! Reheats well! Super Easy! And it’s a one-pot wonder so clean-up is a breeze! So, grab your dutch oven, and let's get cookin'!
6 cloves of garlic
1 pound of carrots, trimmed and peeled, cut into ¼ inch dice (about 2 ½ cups)
Kosher Salt and fresh ground pepper
1 ½ pounds ground lamb
½ cup dry, unoaked white wine (I use sauvignon blanc, plus it's my favorite wine to drink while I’m cooking dinner)
½ cup water
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 spring of rosemary
Sprig of thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
8 ounces of short dried pasta like penne, orecchiette, or ditalini
Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch Oven over medium-high heat.
Add the garlic and carrots and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and lots of twists of fresh cracked pepper.
As soon as the veggies start to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the veggies are soft and fragrant, but not browned (about 10 minutes)
Add the lamb and break up for a wooden spoon and cook until it’s no longer pink, 5-10 minutes. Do not brown the lamb.
Add the wine, water, chile flakes, 2 teaspoons of salt, and thyme.
Cover the pan and cook at a gentle simmer until the flavors have melded, the liquid is brothy and flavorful and the carrots are fully tender, about 35 minutes.
Check on the ragu during cooking to be sure it is not drying out, if so add a bit more water. The final texture should be loose and slightly brothy, but not watery.
Stir in the butter and cheeses and a few more twists of fresh cracked pepper.
Taste and adjust the flavors with salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes or, cheese.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and 2 Tablespoons of salt.
Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente.
Reserve ¾ cup of the pasta cooking liquid to add to the ragu.
Drain the pasta and add to the ragu, then add ½ cup to ¾ cup of the reserved pasta water and simmer for a couple more minutes.
Serve with a bit of olive oil, more grated cheese, and garnish with fresh chopped parsley for a pop of color if you like.