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Pasta with Lamb and Rosemary

Ground lamb and zucchini cooked with fresh rosemary and tomatoes create a succulent—and unexpected—sauce for pasta. Slightly salty pecorino cheese is the perfect garnish. End the meal with fresh grapes and sliced ripe pears. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil 
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced 
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary  
  • 1/2 lb. ground lamb 
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine 
  • 2 cans (each 14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with juices 
  • 2 large zucchini, about 1 lb. total, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 
  • 10 to 12 oz. rotini or rotelle pasta, preferably multigrain 
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more for serving 

Directions:

In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and rosemary and sauté until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the lamb and season with salt and pepper. Sauté, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the lamb is no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and boil until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices and bring to a boil. Stir in the zucchini. Reduce the heat to medium-low and boil slowly, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, stir well and cook until al dente, about 11 minutes. Drain the pasta, add it to the sauce and toss to coat. Stir in the 1/2 cup cheese.

Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to warmed shallow bowls and serve immediately, passing more cheese at the table. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh & Fast, by Kristine Kidd (Williams-Sonoma, 2011).